With everything that has been going on lately, public safety is a main concern. In an attempt to increase public safety, several police departments are adopting body-worn cameras. While improvement on basic guidelines is still necessary, body-worn cameras are a major step forward.
Supporters of body-worn camera programs applaud the increased transparency and accountability that these tools provide. Because these cameras can record officer interactions with the public, this helps to bring clarity to day-to-day situations. This footage becomes even more helpful when details are unclear and stories conflict. Aside from this, officers and civilians alike can be held accountable for their actions, thus promoting public safety.
While these are in place with the public in mind, they can also help officers defend their actions when complaints are filed. An interim report by the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing from March 2015 found that there were fewer incidents of force and fewer complaints with officers donning body worn cameras than those without.
Criticism of these programs is related to privacy issues, footage review and public viewing policies. Many say that without public access to the footage, officer accountability will remain unchanged. For example, a North Carolina law makes dash cam and body cam footage exempt from public record. Also being argued is the fact that some jurisdictions allow officers to review the footage before they write their reports. This, combined with no public access to footage, creates an upper hand for the officers as they can shape their story based on the available evidence.
While this is an important concern, this is not the case for all departments as rules and regulations vary. Since the outlook for these cameras seems promising, guidelines regarding use and public access must be improved. Making these policies available for the public to review allows for better trust for law enforcement.
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Wearable technology has evolved right before our eyes. Our childhood experiences vary drastically from the children growing up today. As we hone our technology and the Internet of Things, we are subsequently changing the learning environment for our children.
Wearable technology can and will have a positive and enriching impact on the classroom, namely, field trips. In the early stages, wearable tech will enhance the experience, allowing for students to more actively engage in the learning experience. As wearable tech advances, data gathered from field trips will be easier to record, consume, and share across various networks. Eventually students from around the world could potentially be sharing learning experiences and helping each other.
For in-person field trips, students will soon be able to scan QR codes or capture images to find out more information, whether it is in the form of text, video or audio. Enabling students to do so will encourage participation and the first-hand interaction will help them better understand the learning objectives.
After the field trip, rather than a simple discussion, students can take photos or record audio and video to bring back to the classroom. They can share their experiences with peers within the classroom, and even through social media. This will enable lessons and information to reach students across the world.
Virtual reality can take field trips to a whole new level. Students will be able to enjoy and experience things we never thought possible. In lieu of in person field trips, virtual reality headsets could bring the experience to the classroom. Students would be able to virtually explore the Grand Canyon, Ancient Greece, and the depths of the ocean, all in one day and without leaving school. This advanced tech helps kids tap into their imaginative and creative side while teaching students great interpersonal skills.
Such an immersive learning environment is promising for young students. This will hopefully encourage students to be more involved in the curriculum, and persuade students to continue their education into college and graduate school. Knowledge is power, and with new technology, this power is strengthened.
What are your thoughts on wearable technology and its impact on school and education? Do you have young children in school who use some of this technology? How has it helped your children? We would love to hear from you. Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest!
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These days, wearable tech seems to be the ultimate convenience. A prevalent trend would be the smart watches, which condense your smart phone into a highly advanced wearable watch. The demand is so high that Intel is holding a “Make It Wearable” contest. The purpose of the competition is to create a unique wearable tech to improve daily living. Of the contestants is Nixie, a flying wearable camera quadcopter.
Nixie’s goal is to capture your treasured moments from a different perspective and in a way you couldn’t do it before. In essence, these are the candid moments you wish you had documented. And because Nixie is a drone, you eliminate the need for an actual photographer while achieving astounding angles for unique photos. This allows for everyone to truly enjoy the moment providing honest moments in snapshots.
Nixie is worn on the wrist, and with a simple gestue, it can fly up and off to snap a photo and then returns to the person’s hand. It’s similar to a camera and a boomerang rolled into one.
It all seems like a wonderful device, but as with commercial drones these days, problems can and will arise. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is slowly but surely finalizing various policies and regulations concerning commercial use of drones. And as with anything flying in the air, safety issues come into play. Malfunctions or misuse can cause trouble, potentially putting the user and Nixie in hot water.
Despite these issues, the competition rolls on. We’ll have to wait until November 3 to see who comes out on top. With all that’s been said, how much will the Nixie improve your everyday life? Do you see this as more of a novelty item or do you think most people will embrace these types of gadgets? Will the FAA or safety issues cause problems? We want to hear your thoughts. You can connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest.
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The recent controversy surrounding police officers in Ferguson, MO, is hard to ignore. The fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown made headlines. There are different sides to the story. Witness accounts claim Brown was trying to surrender, arms in the air when he was fatally shot. Police state that as the officer was trying to exit the vehicle, Brown pushed in back in and there was a struggle over the officer’s weapon. Tension between officers and the black community has only worsened since this incident.
The obvious clashing of viewpoints has caused quite an uproar. With protests spanning from violent to peaceful, the media coverage has provided an opportunity to make each sides’ voice heard.
Because it is unclear what exactly happened that night, the push for officers to wear body worn cameras when in uniform has been strong. Many feel that this may decrease incidences of excessive force as well as attacks on officers. As previously discussed in our blog, body worn cameras for police officers have been tested in pilot programs, however, reports of effectiveness have varied.
Here in California, City of Hawthorne Mayor Chris Brown is pushing for the use of these cameras. In a letter released on August 15, 2014, the mayor wrote, “I am simply not willing to gamble with a single life, or the wrongful accusation of upstanding officers.” While these body worn cameras can possibly produce helpful evidence while deterring misbehavior from officers and the public alike, the costs run fairly high. Each camera can run up to $800-$1000 per officer. This expense is a large part of why most police departments have refrained from adopting the program.
As with use of any type of security camera, privacy concerns arise. A possible solution to this would leave it up to the officer’s discretion to turn the cameras on and off. However, human error can cause suspicions. Missing footage because an officer forgot to turn on the camera could spark much controversy depending on the case. Also, taking time to turn the cameras on and off can distract officers and compromise safety for both themselves and the public.
With recent events and what we know about body worn cameras, do you think employing them on our officers would help decrease violence and crimes? Or do you think these cameras be a waste of funds? We would love to hear your thoughts on the topic. You can connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.
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The newest editions of wearable cameras are targeted toward the social media enthusiasts, eager to share their day with the world. These cameras are often small and imperceptible, secretly snapping photos and documenting one’s life. The future of these devices is promising in the social realm, but these cameras could potentially make a positive impact in the medical field as well.
Wearable cameras provide somewhat of a visual diary, what they are now calling “life-logging.” For the social media butterflies, these cameras make it easier to share their lives with their friends and followers. These devices essentially allow a peek into the life of the person donning the camera.
The originators of this technology had something different in mind. These devices were created as a goal to help patients suffering from amnesia or dementia recall important events and aid in memory and recall abilities.
By documenting your entire day, you permit a review of your daily activities. For those with memory issues, whether a type of amnesia or dementia, reviewing these images and videos can help exercise the brain and trigger memory recall.
A previous case study evaluated what was called a SenseCam, and showed that memory could be improved. Reviewing images from the SenseCam regularly helped overall recall. The study showed that the individual “could recall more than 80% of key facts about significant events after a fortnight of reviewing SenseCam images every couple of days and that a similar level of recall persisted for months after she stopped looking at the pictures.” Using these images as cues helped to trigger certain parts of the brain associated with memories. Exercising these parts seemed to have strengthened memory recollection.
While this case study portrays a promising future for these wearable cameras, privacy still remains as a major issue. Especially in healthcare, patient privacy and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) violations may cause controversy.
Do you think these devices impose on other people’s right to privacy, or do you believe they can be plausible devices for health and social media use? Let us know what you think. Connect with us on social networks – Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.
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