No sooner does John Dvorak declare Google Glass dead here in the U.S. than the police in the Arab nation of Dubai have started to adopt it for actual practical use. Dvorak noted that Glass users were getting teased about wearing the device, but that's because Glass was rolled out in the U.S. as a nerd toy. Dubai has a real application for them.
Clearly Dubai is betting big on Google Glass because this is not the first time it has discussed using the eyewear. Earlier this month it was disclosed that detectives are planning to wear Google Glass with facial recognition capabilities to search against wanted databases.
Gulf News says the Dubai Police are testing the eyewear for integration into traffic police work, with 10 officers using the glasses to provide providing a live feed option back to the station about a month ago.
Colonel Khalid Nasser Al Razooqi, general director of smart services at the Dubai Police, said that they have created two applications for the glasses: one will allow officers to take photos of traffic violations, which will go instantly into the traffic system; the other application helps identify wanted cars simply by looking at the vehicle's license plate.
On a more unsettling note, the Dubai Police also announced that they have made it possible for members of the public who own a set of Google Glass to use it to report traffic violations through the “We are all Police” Dubai Police app. The potential for misuse and neighbors getting back at each other is really scary there, but then again, this is Dubai. God know what they would do to someone for filing a false report.
Google Glass is powered by the Avaya SmartConnect technology, a series of services and technologies for productivity, collaboration and networking. Google Glass with the SmartConnect technology will allow the police operations room to follow what an office on the scene is seeing, and they could send information back to the officer as well.
Obviously there are privacy concerns, as something similar is happening in the U.S., except police officers are not using Google Glass, they are using a camera that's literally mounted on their chests.
However, the city of Rialto in California has been using the cameras for some time and the effect was remarkable. Public complaints against officers plunged 88% when compared with the previous 12 months and officers' use of force fell by 60%. So the camera is keeping everyone honest, cops and citizens alike.
This is not the first practical use of Google Glass we've seen. Japan Airline uses it for airplane inspections at the Hawaii airport. So maybe we shouldn't declare Google Glass dead just yet and simply find practical applications, instead of just making it a toy for tech hipsters show off.