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New York police begin testing Google Glass as crime-fighting tool

The wearable device is being used by police officers to see if it has any use in law enforcement.

Image: AP Photo/John Minchillo

THE NEW YORK City Police Department is currently beta-testing Google Glass to see if it could help it in investigations and patrols.

A ranking New York City law enforcement official told VentureBeat that the department had received numerous pairs from Google’s beta program and are using them to see what use they would have in law enforcement.

“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… We’re looking at them, you know, seeing how they work.”

Google Glass could potentially help speed up the process of investigations as it would allow officers to search through a database or bring up warrant checks while working. However, the issue of privacy surrounding wearable devices like Glass would arise if it ever became a tool for law enforcement.

Currently, the device is only available through the Glass Explorer Program and will cost those interested in taking part €1,100. Purchasing support prescription lenses would add an additional €165 on top of the optician’s charge to make and fit lenses.

The device has been used for other emergency services. A firefighter from North Carolina, Patrick Jackson, developed a Google Glass app which allows firefighters access to vital information when working. Through it, firefighters can look up the map of a burning building, as well as the locations of nearby fire hydrants.

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(Video: Google Glass/YouTube)

Read: Google hacks together mini-games to show off Glass’ potential >

Read: Government considers banning drivers from wearing Google Glass >

About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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