WatchGuard Video unveils revolutionary connected technology for in-car, BWC systems
VISTA WiFi integrates in-car and body-worn camera systems allocating the recording decision to any camera within a synched group.
The following is paid sponsored content by WatchGuard Video.
By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff
WatchGuard Video just released its take on the Internet of Things with its groundbreaking VISTA WIFi high-definition body camera and Distributed Multi-Peer Recording technology.
Now, an in-car system and multiple body-worn cameras can intelligently collaborate in a group recording of a single incident, strengthening case evidence through synchronized video from multiple vantage points.
To learn about this new technology, we spoke with Ret. Chief Mike Burridge, a 27-year law enforcement veteran and former chairperson of the IACP In-Car Camera Committee. Here are a few key features Burridge said makes this new technology a game-changer.
Distributed, multi-peer recording
Distributed Multi-Peer Recording technology allows the integration of a WatchGuard 4RE® in-car system with one or more WatchGuard VISTA® WiFi body-worn cameras. The cameras are peers to each other, meaning each device continually checks the status of the others. When any officer in the group initiates a recording – from the body camera or car – the other cameras in the group sense a change in status on that device and immediately begin recording.
“This means all the cameras are globally aware of what the others are doing,” Burridge said.
For example, say a field training officer is in the cruiser with his trainee, both of them wearing body cameras, and the car has an in-car camera system. All three devices will continually check the status of each other, i.e., recording or not recording.
“The two get on a call,” Burridge said. “The trainee doesn’t know he should be recording; the training officer presses record on his VISTA WiFi; automatically the trainee’s camera begins recording, as well as the in-car system.”
The in-car system and the body-worn cameras are acting as a single integrated system; giving the training officer and the trainee the power to initiate a group recording.
This technology is scalable for teams of cameras, too, Burridge said. Officers serving warrants, gang squads, SWAT teams and more can be synchronized to begin recording with the press of one officer’s record button.
“This is something nobody is doing today,” Burridge said.
Another impressive feature is Record-After-the-Fact, which uses background recording to reclaim video footage after an incident. This allows users recover and categorize incidents from VISTA WiFi even when the record button wasn’t pressed.
Record-After-the-Fact lets officers go back in time and capture a recording that is on the device and put it into evidence, Burridge said.
“He or she may not have known at the time that they needed that video, but let’s say the next day they are questioned about an incident,” he said. “They can go back to the device, capture the video, put it into evidence, put into the back-end software and be able to use it.”
Evidence Management Software
WatchGuard Evidence Library 4 Web evidence management system detects and automatically links all of the recordings from VISTA WiFi and the 4RE In-Car system employed in a group recording. When the files are uploaded, they are linked to the same incident and from there, each angle on the same incident can be reviewed side-by-side.
Video evidence technicians or system administrators can also search in Evidence Library 4 by GPS coordinates and/or time to link evidence that was recorded at an incident but was not part of a group recording. That video can be tagged and tied to the appropriate case and, due to the GPS capabilities of the WatchGuard cameras, audio and video will be in-synch with the cameras that were part of the group recording. Those videos can then be linked for even more angles on the same incident, thereby deepening the strength of the evidence.
“An officer or detective may have to provide discovery for court,” Burridge said. “Videos are linked together and show up in the same search in the same place.”
WatchGuard Evidence Library 4 Web evidence management system includes a feature called CLOUD-SHARE.
Burridge said many agencies want to keep video evidence on premise, but need an efficient and cost-effective way to temporarily share it with people and groups outside the agency.
If any agency gets a request for discovery of a specific video related to an arrest, it can use CLOUD-SHARE to upload a copy of the local video to a secure CJIS-compliant cloud account. The requestor receives an email announcing the shared video.
“CLOUD-SHARE allows you to invite a single person or a group of people to a shared file,” said Burridge.
The system provides varying levels of security on each shared file. The agency can just provide a link to view the video, or it can decide to use added security, including requiring the requestor to use certain information like a date of birth or case file number in order to view and/or download the file. For routine requestors, such as a district attorney office, a secure login can be provided to access all files shared with the office.
An audit trail is created instantly and updated each time a file is uploaded, shared, viewed and shared again – maintaining a detailed chain or custody.
“And best of all, each shared file can be assigned an expiration date, removing the worry and cost of storing files in the cloud indefinitely” added Burridge.
WatchGuard’s VISTA WiFi high-definition body camera with distributed multi-peer recording technology enables communication among multiple cameras – a first-to-market technology that promises to be a major game change by providing a more complete picture of an incident.