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Dubai Police Force Begins Testing Google Glass

dubai-glassOver the last few months, we’ve seen multiple reports of police using Google Glass, from one officer trying it out while on patrol, to the entire New York City Police Department beginning its own pilot program. But it seems that the United States isn’t the only place where Glass will get a test run: yesterday, news broke that police in Dubai are experimenting with the smart glasses as well.

A post on GulfNews reports that Dubai’s police force are using Glass’s photo- and video-capturing capabilities to help them manage traffic violations in the city. Colonel Khalid Nasser Al Razooqi, head of the Dubai Police’s Smart Services department, offered up some details about the apps the department will use in the Glass-focused initiative.

“One will allow them to take photos of traffic violations from the Glass, which will go instantly into our system,” he explained. “The other application helps identify wanted cars. […] We at Dubai Police always try to adopt what is new in the market and we like to stay up-to-date.”

Al Razooqi also added that while taking photos will require the officer to physically tap a button on the Glass headset, the other app will work automatically. Glass will simply analyze license plates that the officer is looking at and cross-reference the plate number with Dubai’s wanted vehicles database.

That kind of passive system could be transformative to the department’s efficiency – and may not be limited to simply identifying stolen cars. We’ve heard a thing or two before about how wearable technology is poised to provide major aid to police departments, but that could just be the tip of the iceberg. As developers continue working on apps for Glass, and as Google continues to develop the device itself, it shouldn’t be too long before people who are wanted for crimes can be identified as well.

We already know that a wearable camera is in development right now that collects metadata that is then fed into a user’s smart-device. Facial recognition is a big part of how that system will function, so it’s not much of a stretch to imagine how that kind of technology will be incorporated into Glass.

As interesting as that eventuality may be, the concept of Glass-equipped police officers also raises a few questions. Will citizens accept having a police force that might be able to scan people’s faces and pull up their personal information at a moment’s notice? Will the advent of Glass being used in police departments cut down on misidentifications and wrongful arrests? Will computer-based identifications be regarded more highly than traditional eye-witness testimonies?

It will be interesting to see the results of these programs in police departments, and how tech firms and developers move forward in response.

[Image via GulfNews]

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