posted at 19:00
Author: Tom Cheredar
Sat, 06 Dec 2014 03:00:05 +0000
Reduce police brutality with activity trackers
One of the biggest calls to action over the recent public outrage about excessive police brutality has been a major call to outfit law enforcement officers with body cameras - going all the way to the White House. I recently spoke to Peter Li, the founder of Atlas Wearables, a startup working on creating devices and technology that can identify what kind of activity you're doing using body movement data collected by an activity band or fitness tracker. Li told me the technology could theoretically also be used to track the activities of police officers during an altercation with another person. Above: Atlas Wearables' new fitness band, which launches soon. Li explains that for Atlas's technology to track whether a cop was using excessive force, "We would need a baseline or a 'truth' value for the instigation , but if chest cams become a thing, we could easily flag potential incidents based on motion." That means Atlas could reveal a more complete account of what happened between a police officer and someone they're attempting to apprehend or detain with force. "We could also get increased heart rate, evidence of faster acceleration. We could even track gun shots, too," Li told me. If you can identify when someone fires a gun, that means you'll be able to track what the data looks like just before an officer pulls the trigger, which is just crazy to me. While my boss Dylan Tweney points out that body cameras are a good first step toward reducing police brutality, step number two would logically be an activity tracker using a technology like Atlas Wearables.

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