The adoption of body-worn cameras is spreading rapidly to areas beyond its familiar use within law enforcement and security.
Body-worn cameras are small, battery-powered, wide-angle cameras with microphones worn on the body, a helmet, or a pair of glasses and designed to record for playing later or for live streaming.
Body-worn cameras are typically used for various documentation purposes, including interactions with witnesses, victims, and others during arrests, police-public encounters, and critical incidents.
by Milestone Systems
Body-worn cameras represent a world of opportunities just waiting to be seized and developed to make a real difference for people and businesses. But how you choose to build your solution is critical for reaping all the benefits. The choice of VMS, not the camera, determines how you can customize your solution and process collected data. This is where an Open VMS Platform, like Milestone XProtect, provides true and serious value.
The market for body-worn cameras is growing rapidly and is on the brink of changing and optimizing businesses and processes across the globe. In order to grow and respond to new needs and opportunities, it is game-changing to work on an open platform that can configure, control and manage fixed and mobile video surveillance equipment independent of manufacturer. Also, at a time when many organizations need to maximize their capital investments, the choice of open platform can significantly drive down costs.
At first glance, it may seem simpler to just choose a closed boxed solution. Typically, this choice is driven by the type of camera you’ve decided to buy, while the software is simply whatever accompanies that specific piece of hardware. The problem with this bundled approach is that it represents an extremely short-term investment that can turn out to be both costly and useless in the long run. After all, if there is one sure thing in any business and organization, it is change. This is why you should always choose an open-platform solution that can easily change with you, so you don’t lose the initial investment. With Milestone’s XProtect® video management software (VMS), you can take your pick of pretty much any type of camera on the market and then add all the application and analytics layers you need. We help bring all the pieces together to give you the perfect video surveillance solution that includes body-worn camera technology.
The benefits of body-worn cameras are in no way limited to law enforcement and private security.
There is a world of opportunities just waiting to be seized and developed to make a real difference for people and businesses, alike. Customer service, field service, health functions and research are just some of the business areas where the implementation and use of body-worn cameras can have a significant and positive impact and where we will see the technology’s ability to build bridges with accurate point-of-view and recordings of events.
Reducing crime in all its forms – from the relatively minor, such as vandalism and antisocial behavior, to the more serious like theft and physical violence – is obviously a central objective for any city government or authority.
Video surveillance in general plays a key role in both deterring crime and helping with investigations, and the increasing use of body worn cameras by law enforcement agencies enhances this further. Capturing evidence for post-incident investigation is a principal benefit, and not only evidence against the alleged criminal, but also evidence that the law enforcement officer or private security professional had behaved appropriately and within official guidelines and processes. This comes not only through footage mirroring that as seen through the wearer’s own eyes, but in ‘filling in’ blind spots not covered by traditional surveillance cameras.
The presence of a body worn camera can improve behaviour of both citizens and the wearer of the camera, which can not only reduce the number of incidents, but also the number of complaints against officers. Both are positive factors in the sense of city livability. In addition, footage from body worn cameras can be extremely useful in situational training and evaluation. Using real-world footage of the management of incidents – including both seeing and hearing how law enforcement or security personnel managed a particular situation – greatly enhances the brings to life the theoretical taught in the classroom.
As a ‘softer’ psychological benefit, body worn cameras can increase the feeling of safety and security for the wearer, allowing them to undertake their job with confidence, and this is where the potential for additional body worn camera use cases becomes clearer.
With decades of experience in developing security cameras, suited for various challenging environments, Axis knows how to tackle conditions like poor light conditions and make robust cameras that can withstand knocks and harsh surroundings, while still delivering high-quality images. And this knowledge is condensed in all parts of the new body worn camera system.
The system consists of three main hardware components: the cameras, the camera docking station and the system controller. The docking stations can be placed safely on the premises and the system controller sends the footage to the destination of choice for analysis and storage. While the cameras store the video when used in the field, the system controller also deletes the files automatically from the cameras, so the device is immediately ready for use again. Axis was looking for the ‘Swiss Army knife’ of cameras: it needed to develop a small, lightweight device, with good battery power without losing any image quality or robustness, while also allowing easy on-camera operation. It was a completely new design format for Axis.
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