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AZ Tech Beat | April 8, 2020

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Smile for the camera! Police could live stream your next encounter

Smile for the camera! Police could live stream your next encounter
Travis Arbon

The next time you talk to a police officer, make sure to smile for the camera and wave to the person on the other side, because live streaming video could be coming to law enforcement near you.

Mesa based Iveda Solutions announced plans Aug. 26. to work with camera manufacturers to bring its cloud video management system Sentir to police body cameras, a move that could allow officers to stream video directly from crime scenes, car accidents or confrontations.

Sentir allows users to manage and analyze video streams in real-time. In a police setting, one officer could be handling a situation, while another could view the stream and offer support from a remote location.

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The demand for instant surveillance data is higher than ever because consumer expectations have changed dramatically in an age of smartphones and super-fast information, Iveda CEO David Ly said.

Most of the cameras that police agencies use only record locally, which means that officers have to wait until they can manually move the video to a computer or database before they can review it, he said.

“Our law enforcement agencies don’t have the time or can’t afford to do things by after-the-fact review any more,” Ly said. “After-the-fact may be too slow or in some cases unfortunately too late.”

But the company doesn’t plan to necessarily sell the cameras themselves, according to Ly. Iveda will license Sentir to camera manufacturers and law enforcement agencies in order to add features to existing cameras.

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Ly said the ability to apply Sentir to a wide variety of different hardware types is what makes the product so flexible.

“We have been in conversation and discussions and even negotiations and we’re close to identifying a multitude of manufacturers,” he said. “To our benefit as a company, as a technology company, we’re hardware agnostic. We frankly don’t have to be loyal to any specific markets or manufacturer.”

Because of this, Ly said he doesn’t see Iveda as a competitor to companies like Taser, which already offers body cameras and a data management platform called EVIDENCE.com.

“Our potential relationship to the likes of a Taser and other manufactures would be allowing our software to be leveraged by them, for them to enhance their physical product being sold today,” Ly said.

In August, teenager Michael Brown was shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri, prompting a public discussion of police practices and technology. Since then, police in Ferguson have been given body cameras.

Ly said that public perception of events like this can be a critical factor in driving the adoption of new technology.

Read: TASER stock spikes in the midst of Ferguson.

“I think it’s healthy,” Ly said. “You and I are the public and at times we wonder, why didn’t they do this, why didn’t they do that, why can’t we do this? The public is a really strong factor for driving technology adoption.”

Law enforcement agencies aren’t just looking to cloud software to improve the policing process. Many Arizona police are already adopting body cameras and some are exploring solutions like 3D scanners.

Graphics provided by Iveda