Some people get excited by the idea of new technology for police officers, while others worry about privacy and law enforcement overreach. Here are some of the most interesting and potentially life-changing tech trends you may see in law enforcement agencies this year.
1. Consumer smart devices
Every day, millions of people record visitors on security cameras and smart doorbells, strap GPS-enabled watches to their wrists, and go about their lives with smart assistants such as Alexa listening attentively. The data captured by these devices would be any law enforcement officer’s dream. That’s why accessing data from consumer smart devices—with the device owner’s permission—sits firmly in the top spot of 2022 law enforcement tech trends.
2. Advanced video and recognition
Facial recognition, the recording of license plate numbers, and even algorithms that can spot suspicious activity on a video feed could help officers skip some detective work and get right to the heart of criminal activity. In some cases, algorithms may even be able to accurately predict when and where a crime will take place. Interestingly, a lie detection system known as EyeDetect, used to identify eye and face movements that could indicate a subject is lying, has already been adopted in some law enforcement agencies.
3. Detailed simulations
The police department in Guangdong, China has developed a map of the city, updated in real-time through the use of IoT sensors and devices, that visually simulates important incidents that are occurring at any given moment. Officers use this information to assess dangerous situations before going in, and to make detailed plans to carry out operations. They can also run fictional simulations of hypothetical situations to develop responses to uncommon emergencies that could affect the city.
4. Virtual reality and artificial reality
Law enforcement officers have plenty of opportunities to put VR and AR to good use, including immersive training in virtual reality settings and receiving accurate, data-driven updates in real-time situations with augmented reality. For example, if an algorithm detects that a person’s face or license plate matches that of a known suspect, officers could be notified via augmented reality displays so they can investigate further.
5. Remotely controlled robots
While robots are unlikely to take on police tasks that require human analysis and judgment, they can absolutely assist in potentially dangerous situations, such as bomb threats and hostage negotiations. Officers could send in a robot to dispose of a suspicious package, for example, or to watch for suspicious activity in pitch dark where human eyes struggle to see.