New York City Police to Use Google Glass

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Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Glass has already introduced a number of innovations and created its share of controversy. According to the New York Post, the latest organization to decide to use the technology tool is the New York City Police Department.

Reporters at the paper wrote:

The NYPD is taking a page out of the RoboCop playbook — outfitting cops with Google Glass so a suspect’s life story can flash right before their eyes, law enforcement sources told The Post. Department bosses bought a few pairs of the futuristic eyewear and are beta testing them with the hopes of using them out in the field.

The tests have just begun, and Glass could turn out to be a failure — at least in the eyes of law enforcement.

Google claims Glass has a wide array of uses. These run from the ability to take pictures, to give directions, to ask questions and get answers through Google search products. Google also claims Glass can translate words and sentences from one language to another.

The product is relatively hard to get, and people must go through a screening process to become what Google calls “explorers”:

The Explorer Program is designed for people who want to get involved early and help shape the future of Glass. We’re expanding little by little, and experimenting with different ways of bringing new Explorers into the program.

One of the primary concerns about Glass involves safety. The product functions have caused concern that they can distract users who are performing another critical task — like driving. Daniel J. Simons, a professor at the University of Illinois, wrote in the New York Times recently:

Google Glass may allow users to do amazing things, but it does not abolish the limits on the human ability to pay attention. Intuitions about attention lead to wrong assumptions about what we’re likely to see; we are especially unaware of how completely our attention can be absorbed by the continual availability of compelling and useful information. Only by understanding the science of attention and the limits of the human mind and brain can we design new interfaces that are both revolutionary and safe.

The New York City Police do not appear to share those concerns, at least for now.