Google Glass could be coming to a policeman near you--that is, if you live in New York City. A new report suggests that the NYPD is beta testing Google Glass to find out if it will help officers prevent and solve crimes.
People from all different walks of life use Google Glass. Everyone from doctors and surgeons, to skydivers and technophiles walk around wearing Google Glass and a rather ridiculous grin on their faces. Now, select NYPD officers are reportedly trying them out, too.
"We signed up, got a few pairs of the Google glasses, and we're trying them out, seeing if they have any value in investigations, mostly for patrol purposes," one New York City law enforcement official told Venture Beat.
The Google Glass Explorer program is very expensive, with each pair of Glass costing $1,500, so the NYPD's experiment can't have been very cheap. That is, unless Google cut them a special deal in hopes of encouraging other cities to consider using Glass in law enforcement. The San Francisco police force is also allegedly considering a test-run with Google Glass.
Google would not confirm whether the NYPD is now part of its Explorer program, but it did issue the following statement in reply:
"The Google Glass Explorer program includes people from all walks of life, including doctors, firefighters and parents. Anyone can sign up to become a Glass Explorer, provided he or she is a U.S. resident and over the age of 18," Google said.
If the prospect of Google Glass-wearing cops sounds absurd to you, you're not alone. Many security and law enforcement experts don't see how Google Glass will have any practical application for officers.
"Its use for law enforcement and intelligence agencies is doubtful," said Vincent Cannistraro, a former ranking clandestine operator with the CIA. "But I've been wrong before."
Apparently, the NYPD is a bit more open-minded than the CIA.
"We think it could help impact patrol operations in New York City. We shall see," the law enforcement official said.
While Google waits for the NYPD and San Francisco police department to pass their verdicts on Google Glass, the company is expanding the wearable's reach with prescription Glass options. The prescription Google Glass wearables feature a variety of cool frame designs and will soon go on sale in many opticians' stores. Although some insurance providers will give you a $100-plus discount on Glass, the cost is still very high.