Google Glass has lots of potential applications beyond just making it easier for people to check out their Twitter feed without taking their phones out of their pockets. Mutualink is demoing one such app today at APCO, a conference for public safety communications, with its Glass App for police, firefighters and first responders.
The app would allow public safety officers and officials to communicate in real-time via streaming video from the scene, as well as to receive and view key documents, including things like building schematics, medical records of victims, live feeds of security cameras in the area and more. It’s the ultimate on-demand intel platform for agents working in the field, and a way to stay in contact with HQ and other organizations even when radio systems won’t talk to each other.
Of course, there could be privacy concerns with such an app. Recently, news came out that NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other officials in the U.S. oppose the idea of police body cameras, suggesting they’d be open to all kinds of dangerous interpretation. Mutualink says its solution emphasizes agency control of media and recording on glass, so privacy would be in the hands of the cops and other officials using them and should be protected.
A tactical heads-up display being used by safety officers is a natural fit for Glass, and as the enforcement agents would be using the head-mounted computer as part of their uniform, they wouldn’t have to worry about looking like idiots, so this could be a place where Google actually finds some long-term adoption. Mutualink is also already a service provider used by NATO Special Operations Forces, homeland security, police and fire departments, so it has the relationships in place to make this happen.
It’s not Robocop, but it’s a step closer. Worst downside I could see is a risk for information overload, and this will probably require a lot of training before it sees field use, but it’s at least worth exploring whether or not this could help really save lives.