Site   Web

February 6, 2014

NYC Police Testing Ability of Google Glass to Help Fight Crime

Google image — Glass split frames.

Google Glass may soon be used to help New York City police officers battle crime.

The NYC Police Department is currently running beta tests on Google Glass for use of the computerized spectacles in the field, a “ranking New York City law enforcement official” told Venture Beat.

Glass, potentially, could be used to investigate terrorists and other criminals, the official said.

Google image

Google image

“We signed up, got a few pairs of the Google glasses, and we’re trying them out, seeing if they have any value in investigations, mostly for patrol purposes,” the official told Venture Beat. “We’re looking at them, you know, seeing how they work.”

A Google spokesman said the technology titan is not working directly with any law enforcement entity on Glass and said the NYC police department likely is a member of the Glass Explorer group which is testing the device to help Google work out kinks before it hits the market later this year.

“The Google Glass Explorer program includes people from all walks of life, including doctors, firefighters and parents,” the company said in a statement to Venture Beat. “Anyone can sign up to become a Glass Explorer, provided he or she is a U.S. resident and over the age of 18.”

Google launched its Explorer program last spring. The 8,000 people chosen to be part of the original group of Explorers were required to pre-order Glass Explorer Edition for $1,500 plus tax and attend a special pick-up experience, in person, in either New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles. The units began shipping to members of the program last April.

Last October, Google also said it could increase its Explorer program by as much as one-third, and gave all Explorers the opportunity to invite three friends to join the program.

Susan Merritt, chief information officer for the San Francisco police department, told Venture Beat that although her department has not tested Glass, the technology could be a great fit for law enforcement.

Glass, she said, could offer wireless facial recognition software to officers on the street or enable them to match suspects’ names and faces with various police and federal databases.

If the NYPD’s tests of Glass are a success, Google could potentially have every major police force in the U.S. as a customer.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.