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New Orleans adopts searchable video tech for police body cameras

Engadget Engadget 13/07/2016 Brittany Vincent
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The city of New Orleans has become the first to adopt special video tech to aid police and prosecutors search through footage collected by body cameras worn by patrolling policemen.

Vu Digital, a video metadata company based out of Mississippi, is providing the Orleans Parish District Attorney with the new tech, referred to as S.M.A.R.R.T. That stands for Storage Metadata Automated Redaction Review Technology, and it utilizes special algorithms to tag data as well as decipher what it contains. It's able to analyze each individual frame of footage captured by police for key pieces of information.

Basically, the tech makes it simple for anyone needing to comb through the footage to be able to do so. It can pick out faces, audio and text and can time stamp each bit of information to create a searchable database for the purposes of archiving and inspecting evidence.

This type of tech is useful mainly because of the sheer amount of data that's recorded via police cam. The New Orleans Police Department alone uses 1,400 body cameras across 700 to 800 officers in the field. That makes for hours and hours of footage that needs combed through, and the S.M.A.R.T.T. system makes it possible for simplifying and expediting the process.

This could well be a system we see spreading in the future, especially given the usage of body cameras for police around the country.

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