What am I going to do with that? Anything (almost)

The head-mounted display headset Golden-i, from Kopin, brings the PC to your eye

Previous Law Enforcement Technology articles have referenced science-fiction movies to help portray and establish the possibilities for the future: self-aware robots, half-man half-machine cops patrolling the streets of Detroit or British agents restoring balance in the world through the use of advanced covert technology.

Bringing to light a lesser-known acronym, HMD, or head-mounted display, the Golden-i headset places an officer’s computer and communications — to be exact — on his head. Who better to manipulate this technology than a leading manufacturer of commercial and military micro-displays.

Manufacturer of wireless power amplifiers used in cellular and mobile devices to the high definition (HD) micro-displays viewed in most digital cameras, camcorders and electronic eyewear and from Blackberries, to rifle scopes, Kopin is a company most of us have experienced, but never heard of. According to Jeffrey J. Jacobsen, Senior Advisor to the CEO at Kopin, the company has supplied the majority of micro-displays fielded in military hardware. These micro-displays are not drop tested repeatedly from three feet to a concrete floor, but are mounted on rifles and cannons receiving the concussion and recoil from repeated fire.

Brought to market by Motorola, Kopin’s Golden-i headset was introduced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year. Golden-i began with the intention to build a tool that would allow access to any information a user might need, control their computer remotely, control other devices and networks at one time and — to top it all off — have a multiple language capability.

The construction and manufacturing industries showed initial interest in the Golden-i headset; however, the hands-free voice-activated headset has potential for law enforcement officers as well.

  • SWAT teams could access blueprints of a building after entering and mount a light, and HD video camera with near-IR sensitivity.
  • Video can help officers see in the dark, in fog, or smoky environments, including capturing and broadcasting video footage to team members and command. Additionally, videos can be accessed wirelessly — improving SWAT team members’ safety and improving the chances of a successful mission.
  • Officers have full patrol car data and communication resources available when dismounted and on foot. Specifically, they can remotely access the computer back in their squad car when on foot, to view suspect photos or other important situational information.
  • Officers on patrol, motorcycle, bicycle, foot, etc., can have the same information, graphical and tactical computer resources, video reception and streaming video broadcast resources available in-vehicle.
  • An on-board HD video camera can provide officers with passive/automatic facial recognition.
  • Detectives can instantaneously pull files on potential suspects, medical files, or other records that would allow them to quickly follow leads that could help solve a case.
  • Golden-i can passively monitor an officer’s health status, vital signs, and physical trauma. This information can be automatically broadcast to supervisors, command, and emergency response services. Teams of officers can know the status and circumstances of each officer on their team, on-demand.

With all the technology available for the police officer, the overall concept remains true: officer’s need information when they want it and when they need it, immediately. Jacobsen adds, “you want all the information you want, but you don’t want it in your way; it can’t block your normal line of sight or peripheral vision. Neither should audio information get in the way of normal situational hearing … officers want all their normal senses to be available.”

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