Body Worn Video Steering Group
Since mid 2014 the body camera industry has grown to become an estimated $1 billion market, with many companies investing their efforts into supplying the world’s emergency services with the equipment. With the phenomenal police uptake of body cameras one new start-up has created the ‘throwable camera’
The Bounce Imaging device, a rubberised ball which holds six cameras and provides a 360 degree view of any room it is thrown in to. The device then provides a live feed of what the cameras sees (via its own WiFi hotspot), potentially allowing units such as SWAT to know what is inside a room before they enter.
Created by Francisco Aguilar, alumni of both Harvard and MIT and winner of a start-up fund competition to bring life to the idea, the sphere shaped device being given an initial run with some US police forces. Other applications for the device would be in instances of natural disaster. It would allow emergency responders to find victims and analyse dangerous situations before effecting rescue operations. Additionally the potential to monitor dangers such as carbon monoxide, radiation and other threats are said to be the next step of product development.
This device has the potential to capture a scene that a body camera would not, such as the surroundings of a room and context of a situation. However it is worth bearing in mind that once the camera is thrown inside a room it does have the potential to be simply thrown back out or cause panic to a victim who may be unsure of what it is. Yet the designers have created a tactical edition featuring LEDs which flash in an attempt to distract/confuse an individual, but the effectiveness of this is yet to be tested.
Intelligent policing is a 21st century concept for using technology in law enforcement. For example in some areas of India traffic officers use body cameras to record volatile motorists, and have employed drones to monitor traffic on the roads.
Interested in other applications for cameras? Find out which applications for body worn video you haven’t heard of yet .