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Smart policing: Why you should reject Google Glass (but only for now)

Submitted by jesse_berst on September 4, 2013

Government Technology is reporting on an early version of Mutualink public safety software equipped to use Google Glass as its display. Buried in the article are all the reasons first responders may someday want to use Glass. And a bunch of reasons they shouldn't try it yet.

In essence, Glass replaces a laptop or computer as an in-the-field display. The big difference is that it is hands-free... or is it? In fact, Glass requires you to touch the unit for certain commands. True, you don't have to carry a smartphone or a tablet, but most early users confirm that it is far, far easier to find your way around with those two devices than with Glass.

I could go on with more of Glass's problems, but they all boil down to this: Glass is a cool idea that is at least five years away from being ready. Don't be tempted to let your first responders become guinea pigs. -- Jesse Berst

Wallingford, Connecticut-based Mutualink has developed an interoperable communications platform that enables community-wide multimedia sharing of radio, voice, text, video, data files and telephone communications in a secure environment. The company says its system has been deployed by police and fire departments, homeland security and defense installations as well as hospitals, casinos and other industries too.

So it's not a stretch that Mutualink sees opportunity in Google's wearable, hands-free multimedia platform. Michael Wengrovitz, the company's VP of Innovation pictured above wearing Google Glass, talked about how first responders might leverage Glass during the Association of Public Safety Communications conference in Anaheim, California last month. You can watch a video here.

Read more on smart policing:
How military software helps police track gangs
How 70 U.S. cities get gun violence alerts from sensors
Case study: New patterns offer breakthroughs for cold cases


Jesse Berst is the founding Chairman of the Smart Cities Council. Click to subscribe to SmartCitiesNow, the weekly newsletter highlighting smart city trends, technologies and techniques.