Beyond Axon, myriad companies are changing the way police do business. Here’s a look.
With investors like Jeff Bezos, Ashton Kutcher, and former CIA director David Petraeus, Mark43’s cloud-based software aims to update and consolidate aging records and dispatch systems. Seattlebased Socrata allows governments to run raw data through machine-learning programs that spit out easy-to-understand visualizations, maps, and graphs on everything from crime to transportation.
Motorola Solutions, which has been making police walkie-talkies and radios for decades, is now investing in body cams (with built-in radios). Safariland, a police-equipment supplier, acquired camera-maker Vievu in 2015, and recently launched its own Ai-enhanced video platform. Dozens of startups—including Utility, Digital Ally, and Wolfcom—have also released their own devices and software.
Companies Predpol and Hunchlab design algorithms to find trends in police data, which can be used both for predictive policing and to spot officers who use excessive force. Startups like Babel Street, Dataminr, and Geofeedia build social media monitoring software that helps police scan accounts for keywords during a major event or around a specific location.
Rapidsos is building a database that can help send location data from our smartphones to 911 dispatchers, who often have difficulty pinpointing callers. The Shotspotter system, from SST, uses sensors around a city to triangulate the sound of gunfire in real time and alert police when and where shots are fired.
Police departments typically house their digital evidence on piles of hard drives and CD-ROMS, but a torrent of bodycamera video—as much as 15 gigabytes per officer per day—has pushed them to cloud providers, including Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.
Both companies offer subscription-based storage that meets federal standards for legal evidence, along with Ai-based tools for tagging objects and recognizing faces in videos.