Be­yond Axon, myr­iad com­pa­nies are chang­ing the way po­lice do busi­ness. Here’s a look.

Fast Company - - Next Mind And Machine -


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.

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