NYPD Is Beta-Testing Google Glass For Law Enforcement

google glassSoon police may instantly know the identity and personal background of everyone they see, VentureBeat reports:

Google Glass may soon become a favored tool for law enforcement agencies in the United States.

The New York City Police Department’s massive and controversial intelligence and analytics unit is evaluating whether Google Glass is a decent fit for investigating terrorists and helping cops lock up bad guys, VentureBeat has learned.

The department recently received several pairs of the modernist-looking specs to test out. “We’re trying them out, mostly for patrol purposes,” a ranking New York City law enforcement official told VentureBeat. Wireless facial recognition software is one potential use.

The glasses are currently only available through Google’s Glass Explorer program, in which people who interested in acquiring them first apply and then receive notification from Google on whether it accepts or denies their application. Respondents who get the green light must pay $1,500 for the privilege.

29 Comments on "NYPD Is Beta-Testing Google Glass For Law Enforcement"

  1. Liam_McGonagle | Feb 10, 2014 at 1:36 pm |

    “Soon police may instantly know the identity and personal background of everyone they see . . . ”

    Really, they do already. I mean, have you ever tried to CORRECT a copy on the street?

    • BuzzCoastin | Feb 10, 2014 at 1:43 pm |

      they can do that now
      since you must have Homeland ID when they stop you
      the glasses would only save them time
      it might also provide a video record of the molestation
      known as a police stop
      in which case
      the glasses will not be welcomed in Pigville

      • Gjallarbru | Feb 10, 2014 at 1:54 pm |

        That’s what I was thinking. If the video record is accessible through a court order, or even as simple matter of public policy, this sort of equipment can make things more even. Criminal defense lawyers everywhere would just love to access those videos such equipment would produce.

        It would make the job way easier. Either the police have good case, and you negotiate the sentence, or they don’t and you can go ahead with the case in confidence. In fact, it could go all the way to suing the police, and that is where the police would think twice about adopting such equipment.

        I’m not too worried about this sort of equipment for now.

      • Virtually Yours | Feb 10, 2014 at 1:58 pm |

        “it might also provide a video record of the molestation” It is interesting to imagine a world where more people than not are wearing recordable tech of some sort, and one in which it is mandatory for those in positions of power/influence (i.e. politicians, police officers, stock brokers, etc.) The best way to fight corruption is to expose it at the source and we’ve never had a system which was truly transparent. Sure, there will always be people who try to cheat and bend/break the rules, but this sort of tech could potentially make it a lot more difficult for them to do so successfully…

        • kowalityjesus | Feb 10, 2014 at 11:41 pm |

          Interesting point, but I think this constant 1st-person surveillance would strip the dignity of the middle levels long, long before it would threaten upper levels. Lower levels are spared by their poverty and unimportance.

          • Virtually Yours | Feb 11, 2014 at 2:15 pm |

            “I think this constant 1st-person surveillance would strip the dignity of the middle levels long, long before it would threaten upper levels” One could argue that the dignity of the middle and lower levels has already been pretty thoroughly stripped. The hope that comes along with this sort of tech is that it could potentially help even the playing field between upper, middle, and lower. Once you have a system where more people than not have access to this kind of tech, it swaps over from being surveillance (them watching us) to sousveillance (us watching each other). Whether this would be a good or bad thing is open for discussion (I am trying to put together an upcoming post on this very topic) but it definitely has the potential to change the nature of the current game…

      • Earthstar | Feb 10, 2014 at 2:49 pm |

        Don’t you realize that recording is selective and conveniently off most of the time? The glass can’t record that long before draining the battery.

        • Gjallarbru | Feb 10, 2014 at 3:18 pm |

          Funny, I would have thought that memory space would have been the greater limit. I mean, how much space can you have on such a small device. For myself, I was more interested in the principles at work more than the actual technological limitations of the device.

      • Anarchy Pony | Feb 11, 2014 at 1:10 am |

        Like I said on that cameras for cops thread a couple months ago, something tells me there is going to be a lot of evidence omitted because of “data corruption”.

  2. kowalityjesus | Feb 10, 2014 at 2:08 pm |

    I think I would choose solidarity with criminals and wear a mask everywhere. liberty or death

  3. It appears that the relative success or failure of new technology depends upon whether it can be easily incorporated into the weapons and equipment inventory of the police state.

    • kowalityjesus | Feb 10, 2014 at 11:37 pm |

      this is an old story.

      I once asked my wise old uncle how much later the development of the computer would have occurred without the European colonization of America. His answer was “not much different” given the necessity of calculating artillery trajectories that would have inevitably arisen within a century of when they did.

      • An interesting thought experiment, but I think your uncle failed to consider how different Europe would be without the colonization of the Americas. How else would they get the resources and manpower to so refine the art of war, if not from the plunder of the Americas?

        One also has to consider why the Europeans wouldn’t have colonized the Americas, and the only logical theory that leaps to mind is that some twist of fate either didn’t save Europe from the superior Muslim culture or from the superior Mongol armies. One wonders in this scenario if the Europeans would still have been at the forefront of artillery development…?

        Finally, I’d have to wonder if your wise old uncle was familiar with the history of steam power or the War of Currents?

        It does sound like something a wise old uncle would say though…

        • kowalityjesus | Feb 11, 2014 at 4:03 am |

          Yes, he is extremely technically minded so the story of these two innovations would be 101 in his repertoire.

          He has spoken to me before about how the fact of the emergence of the New World was probably indispensable in the spread of enlightenment during the Renaissance. I was trying to extend this idea to some hard benefits which banked heavily off (the much touted) “American ingenuity,” for example the Computer. I honestly think he was downplaying the role of the US to try to prevent me from feeling undue pride.
          As you point out, the thwarting of the Mongol hordes in the near east was a profound event in the shaping of world history. But truthfully, in any event, would Europe’s rulers have spared any expense in discovering new ways to out-do their feuding military rivals? Thus, invention.

          • I’ll set aside the questions about your uncle and play this one through for now…

            As far as the Mongols go, I was specifically thinking about the death of the second Khan. A cosmic “thwarting” perhaps, because had it not happened, I tend to believe Europe would be a lot like Central Asia or Sub-Saharan African today, socioeconomically speaking.

            Thus, Europe would be a resource-poor, culture-starved third world ghetto, beaten into submission by their neighbors to the East and to the South. Maybe you get a Robert Mugabe -type, or at best, a Moammar Gadhafi -type. But no, no invention.

            Now obviously, someone probably would have come up with heavy artillery eventually. But I’m going to go with Mongols, Turks, Chinese, Arabs, or Japanese as the most likely inventors and drivers of innovation in this theoretical world.

            I’m also going to go out on a limb and say that in this theoretical world, computing technology would likely have been invented way earlier, and that military application would likely not have been the driving force of innovation.

          • kowalityjesus | Feb 11, 2014 at 5:38 pm |

            wat? A Mongol invasion of Europe would have caused computers to be developed *earlier*? Yeah, sure. It’s possible that it would have caused them to be developed elsewhere, but imo not likely. Europe had a lot going for it besides an isolation from an outside invasion, although there were lucky events and important battles which preserved the sovereignty of Christendom. What basis do you have to say that computers would have been developed for NOT military purposes? None. Try your naive antics someplace where less-educated people hang out.

          • Ah, I should have guessed earlier you are an unrepentant adherent of American Exceptionalism and a closet(?) white supremacist.

            I see also you have absolutely no grasp of historical events. I shall endeavor to ignore your feeble gibberish as is proper in the future.

          • kowalityjesus | Feb 11, 2014 at 5:50 pm |

            That would be doing me a favor. You clearly do not care to grasp what I am clearly communicating, or appreciate my perspective. A common, dare I say “mediocre,” inhabitant of the internets.

          • I can grok what you’re saying perfectly.

            The communication problem that exists, from my perspective, is that you don’t understand what you’re “clearly communicating”.

            Common as a sparrow, mein freund.

          • kowalityjesus | Feb 11, 2014 at 6:00 pm |

            I know you are, but what am I?

          • I’m your sarcastic friend in german too?

          • kowalityjesus | Feb 11, 2014 at 6:06 pm |

            You have a non sequitor streak which is not delightful, nor rhetorical, just confusing.

          • “Let him who has ears, hear”

            Maybe I should just change my avatar to this?

          • Interesting, why do you think this is so?

          • Let’s hop in the Wayback Machine and visit Vienna in late December, 1241.

            The Golden Horde under Batu Khan has systematically devastated every army and civilization that has resisted them west of Volga since 1235. Traveling with him is Subutai, the revered general that served Genghis, and perhaps the only man who was his tactical equal. At their command is an army of possibly as many as 130,000. They’ve just spent the last six months depopulating Central Europe after slaughtering the Hungarian army. Oh, and they decided to sack Buda, the Hungarian capital on Christmas Day.

            So at this point, imagine how much the Austrians are shitting themselves. Mongol battalions have already checked their forces and those of Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emperor, so no help is coming from Germany. Italy is no more than a collection of quarreling City States and the Pope. The Byzantine Empire is still reeling from the chaos of the Fourth Crusade. Who will save Europe?

            Even the death of Ögedei Khan and the law of Yassa were very nearly not enough to stop Batu from continuing on until he reached “the ultimate sea”. So right here, we’ll make one tweak. Ögedei doesn’t die on December 11, 1241. For the purposes at hand, we’ll say he lives five more years, more than enough time for Batu and Subutai to complete their conquest of Europe.

            Now working from the established history. Batu has claim to be the next Great Khan, but five years has been enough time for Ögedei’s son Güyük to grow old enough to nix any possibility of anything but smooth succession from father to son. That’s okay. Güyük Khan confirms Batu Viceroy of the West.

            Jump to 1255, our next nexus point. Even if Ögedei hadn’t died and saved Europe in 1241, it was only a temporary stay of execution. Batu was in the midst of planning his (re)-invasion of Central Europe when he died at some point near the end of 1255/start of 1256. But the Batu Khan we’re discussing didn’t spend 14 years consolidating his power and conducting political intrigues in hopes of deposing the House of Ögedei.

            Instead, he has spent the last nine years consolidating his hold over Europe. Conceivably, many of the princes that initially traveled with the Golden Horde have now gone on to lead armies of their own to subdue Muslim Spain, Turkey, North Africa, and finish off the Turks and Arabs in the Middle East. So in the new 1255, the Mongols effectively rule the known world, minus the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Japan.

            One more historical note for Batu Khan and the Golden Horde: they reigned over Eastern Europe for about 250 years.

            So 1505. For the sake of argument, the Mongols hold is broken over Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. Consider that without the resultant 250 years of Italian city state domination over the Mediterranean, the seeds of the Renaissance were never planted. Northern European culture without the colonization by Classical European Civilization©™? An interesting historical curiosity.

            Again for the sake argument, say somehow the Mongolians left no more of a cultural footprint than they did on the Eastern Europeans. Where do we turn for culture?

            My strong suspicion is that in this cultural vacuum, the Muslims would finally rise to cultural dominance. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, most of the great body of Classical European Civilization©™ survived only in the care of Islamic Middle East. While Europe was allegedly scratching around in the dirt during “The Dark Ages”, Islamic culture reached its historical nadir, reaching full flower as the Christians began their Crusades to the Holy Land in the late 11th Century.

            So 1505, Mongols are gone, and conceivably the Seljuks and Mamluks never had to worry about the Ottomans. It is at this point I place my money on the Berbers, Arabs, and Turks being more than capable of fending off the Christians states. Hell, maybe they’ve even held a grudge about that whole Crusades episode and decide to jihad the fuck out of Europe. Shoot, I’ll even posit the Byzantines (and with them, the Eastern church) throwing in with the Muslims against Catholic Europe.

            Regardless, the conspicuous lack of Catholic near-Eastern plunder equals the stillbirth of Classical European Civilization©™. “Western Civilization” thus never has to leave its homeland nexus of the Eastern Mediterranean and high culture continues to do just fine where it’s at.

            *Big Breath*

            The scenarios that lead to an earlier industrial revolution and computing are probably endless at this point. Suffice to say that the Mongols are not given enough credit for their ingenuity and their ability to employ and refine the best technologies of their conquered peoples. Recall that in my theoretical 1255 the Mongols are in Venice, Rome, Athens, Constantinople, Cairo, Damascus, Baghdad, etc. Maybe one of these Mongols decides to take a more serious look at this whole “steam power” thing that the Greeks used as toys and possibly a battering ram, and develops it into the Next Big Thing?

            And it just so happens the Next Big Thing is exactly what the Mongols need when by the end of the 13th Century, other civilizations begin to adapt and start to counter the Mongol military advantage. Finally clearing the field of all its enemies, the Mongols consolidate their empire, now spanning three continents, through the end of 14th Century, thus realizing Genghis’ dream of a single civilian and military code governing “the whole world.”

            So begins the Pax Mongolia. All hail Genghis.

          • the Mongols are not given enough credit for their ingenuity and their
            ability to employ and refine the best technologies of their conquered

            Their ingenuity is what allowed them to kick major ass. Their infantry tactics, their agility on foot ( garnered by the use of the foot bag), as well as their use of silk under their armor.

            The church, on the other hand is known for bringing on the dark ages. The enlightenment, a group of people in contrast of the churches disgusting limiting ways, ultimately broke the spell. Then the experiment in the West was drafted, and eventually crafted.

            In other words, I see your point.

          • Just more evidence that the Roman appropriation and spread of Christianity stunted civilization: a substantial minority of the Mongols were Nestorian Christians.

            It’s also probably a big component of why the Muslims resisted the Mongols so fiercely compared to everyone else. I believe I read somewhere that Kitbuqa, one of the chief generals in the Middle East and devout Nestorian, took pleasure in converting mosques into churches.

    • If only the difference between education and defense spending was flip flopped.

  4. Hadrian999 | Feb 10, 2014 at 11:41 pm |

    rule #1 of business, If your product sucks, sell it to the government

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