Panasonic Toughbook U1 Ultra is the newest member of the Toughbook family. Photo Nicole Reino
IACP in Orlando, Fla., introduced the industry to a bevy of innovation. Check these out.
FEATURED IN TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
Despite a down economy, industry leaders stepped up to the plate and introduced the crowd at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference in Orlando, Fla., to hundreds of products designed to help police officers do their jobs. Following, in no particular order, are 10 that especially impressed the Law Officer team. A gallery of these products is to the right of this text.
Panasonic Toughbook U1 Ultra
We got to meet and hold the newest member of the Panasonic Toughbook U1 family—the Ultra. This 2.3-lb. bundle of technological joy runs on Windows 7 software. It features a brilliant LED touch-screen capable of up to 6,000 nit in direct sunlight and automatically adjusts its screen brightness to fit whatever environment it’s in. At IACP, it was mounted to the front of the pictured motorcycle. Its integrated options—GPS, Gobi mobile broadband, a 2-MP camera and barcode readers—and multi-tasking applications—SAP, CRM, turn-by-turn directions, drawings, schematics, GEO tagging and paperless forms—make it perfect for motor officers. For more information, visit www.panasonic.com.
Stalker LIDAR LR
The Stalker LIDAR LR detects speed of closely bunched vehicles, which makes it great for urban traffic settings. On the crowded showroom floor, we had fun pointing it at people who were walking around (it’d pick up their speed if they were walking at a pace greater than 2 MPH). Not only were we impressed by its consistent target tracking, but also its updated electronics, state-of-the-art surface-mount technology and the 32-bit processor. For more information, visit www.stalkerradar.com.
Taser Axon Video & Evidence Management
The Taser booth was bustling with product-seekers and officers from the Burnsville (Minn.) and Aberdeen (S.D.) police departments, who were demonstrating the Axon audio-video evidence management system. One officer wore it on his baseball cap and the other wore it as an over-the-ear, head-mounted standard issue. The Axon is so small it almost went unnoticed. The head camera is the size and weight of a typical Blue-tooth headset. One question we had: How do you know “Big Brother” isn’t listening to a personal conversation? There’s a privacy function that allows the officer to stop all audio and video recording during personal breaks. The Axon is normally configured to operate in the video-only mode during non-event times. No audio is captured until the event button is depressed. For more information, visit www.taser.com.
Verizon 4G LTE & Sprint 4G
Information was flying through the showroom floor at the speed of 4G thanks to Verizon Wireless and Sprint. The 4G technology is capable of delivering download speeds of up to 10 times faster than 3G. Both companies recently launched 4G networks, and we got to experience both in action. By the end of the year, Verizon’s 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network will have launched in 38 major metropolitan areas and in more than 60 commercial airports—coast to coast. Sprint’s 4G network has been released in 62 markets across the U.S. For more information about the 4G LTE network, visit www.verizonwireless.com/lte. For more information about the 4G WiMax network, visit www.sprint.com.
Aerostat Mobile Aerial Platform & the Auto Gyro
We saw two cool products at the NIJ Office of Science and Technology booth. Flying above the show floor was the Aerostat, a low-cost, aerial platform that can be quickly deployed by a single person. Capable of working at an altitude of up to 500 feet and stable in winds up to 50 MPH, it can be used to enhance communications when combined with a repeater or provide an aerial view when mounted with a camera. Also attracting a lot of attention was the Auto Gyro, a two-person lightweight aircraft that provides an aerial platform at very low operating cost. Editor-in-Chief Dale Stockton flew in one of the first units evaluated by NIJ and said, “This aircraft is perfect for keeping an eye on roadways known for smuggling activities.” For more information, visit www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij.
OEM Micro Solutions MTC-3
OEM Micro Solutions’ MTC-3 is a computer built from the ground up for public safety. What does that mean? Well, we were impressed by many aspects of the powerful mobile computer station, including its rugged frame, touch-screen technology, bright LCD display and lightning-fast Intel Core2 Duo processor. The most obvious departure from the standard car-mounted computer is that the processor is attached to the back of the display. This facilitates vertical airflow to ensure it keeps going strong in high heat, and it also makes for a very compact machine. The keyboard is detachable for lap use. For more information, visit www.oemmicro.com.
Meggitt Training Systems XWT Wireless Target Mover
When a person says “wireless,” they’re usually referring to remote internet access. Not so with Meggitt Training Systems new XWT Wireless Target Mover: The target moves smoothly along a steel AR500 track—without a wire. The target, which can rotate 360 degrees, is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The movement is smooth and responsive to one-touch controls. Target positioning can be remotely controlled or pre-programmed. And it features with a nifty trap so you can capture and recycle your spent cartridges easily. Bottom line: Meggitt’s system is very durable, elegantly designed, and features simple, effective control mechanisms to target shooting. If you’re going to invest in a target-shooting system, think beyond the initial investment and consider its value over the life of the system. For more information, visit www.meggittrainingsystems.com.
Tru-Spec’s Tru Xtreme
Tru-Spec’s Tru Xtreme TM tactical uniform has successfully integrated a lot of design input into a multi-piece tactical uniform that can be worn in individual pieces or as a full tactical ensemble. Made of flame-resistant rip-stop nylon, the pieces feature rugged knee and elbow patches, gussets for maximum movement and pockets designed specifically to house your tactical gear. One of our favourite features is a removable see-through pouch that attaches at the wrist, giving wearers a place to stow notes or maps. The line is available as a jacket or as a vest with an optional integrated undershirt, as well as pants. For more information, visit
The Omega Dashboard
The Omega Group does a lot of impressive stuff with maps and data. Basically, their products allow officers in the field to figure out where crimes are occurring and when. They also provide supervisors and crime analysts with data to identify problems and successes—and then allocate resources to efficiently attack crime where it happens. What impressed us most about the Omega Dashboard is how intuitive and readable it all is: This is stuff officers will use. Available through a Web browser, the Dashboard provides your field officers with instant information in context: charts, maps, threshold alerts and trends. For more information, visit www.theomegagroup.com.
Raytheon’s Communications System Integrator
Raytheon’s Network Centric Systems Civil Communications group showcased their Raytheon Interoperability Communications Center, a 53’ eighteen-wheeler full of radios, monitors, testing equipment, cameras, video systems, computers, servers and training rooms. The vehicle made use of the P25 ISSI open standard to show attendees firsthand the ability of disparate communications systems operating in different bands to operate with one another. This demonstration took legacy radio systems and allowed them to talk to one another via Raytheon’s open standard gateway technologies—all in the space of a trailer. The promise of Raytheon’s technology is in providing departments alternatives to closed, proprietary systems without losing the initial investments made in those older technologies. Open-architecture-based systems are cheaper to set up and allow users to communicate across equipment from multiple vendors, while still maintaining legacy services and investments. For more information, visit