Uses of body cameras expand as device goes global

The creator of VIEVU body cameras has customers in 16 countries


The Economist

Thanks to digital technology the world is replete with cheap and highly capable cameras. ABI, a research firm, reckons there were a billion built into the mobile phones and tablets shipped in 2012 (many boast more than one). Adding a run-of-the-mill digital camera to a phone, or pretty much anything else, costs about $10. Narrative, a Swedish company that has raised $500,000 through Kickstarter, is marketing a clip-on life-logger the size of a coin.

Steve Ward of VIEVU, a Seattle firm that has been selling wearable cameras to police forces for several years, and now has customers in 16 countries, says the devices can help protect any professional who takes on legal liabilities: repairmen, estate agents, doctors, couriers and more. After all, many firms already record phone calls for similar reasons.

The availability of a tamper-proof record often sorts out disputes before they escalate, expensively, into lawsuits. A year-long experiment with the widespread use of another model of wearable camera by police officers in Rialto, California, saw a spectacular fall in the number of complaints against the police by the public. It also saw less use of force by officers.

Full Story: Ubiquitous cameras: The people’s panopticon

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