Taser's New Camera Turns Every Cop Into RobocopS

Taser rolled out a new line of body-wearable cameras for law enforcement today, the Axon Flex line, designed to be worn on sunglasses and record then upload video to the cloud from the officer's point of view. They're delightfully frightening!

The 3.2-inch cameras store two four to six hours of footage at a time (which seems short), have a 14 hour battery life, and are compatible with iOS and Android for wireless viewing. They mount on a pair of Oakley Flak Jacket glasses (or hats, or clothes, or helmets, you name it) and automatically record video to a DVR, which is then automatically uploaded to Evidence.com at the end of an officer's shift. They're designed to work in low light.

The idea is that the glasses provide two safeguards, one to the public and one to the po-po.

Because the video is tamperproof, it means that it's essentially a witness that can prove (or disprove) bad behavior by the police. Which largely explains why the much maligned BART police department, which has struggled with charges of excessive force in recent years, has already ordered 150 of them. As the Axon Flex site euphemistically notes, recording video "improves behavior of all parties during police interactions."

But it also provides a safeguard for the officer too. Again it helps prove, or disprove, that things went down the way the police claim. And moreover, because it provides the officer's literal point of view, it can help provide perspective not just on what actually happened, but on how the police perceived it.

I can see how police officers might have a love/hate relationship with the Axon. It is basically turning cops into sort-of cyborgs. It's putting that in-dash camera right on the face. And very likely, it will be given more credence than officer testimony.

[TASER Axon Flex via FastCompany]