Cop cameras take hold thanks to the cloud

Data from cop body cameras goes right to Microsoft’s cloud

Ever since the tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri Vievu has seen a lot more interest in its product.

vievu Vievu

A police officer wears a Veivu body camera - data from the camera can be stored in Microsoft's government cloud.

The Seattle-based company makes a custom video camera that is meant to be worn by police officers to capture video of exactly what cops are doing.  With this technology, if an incident like what happened in Ferguson occurred again then judges, juries and the general public would have video evidence.

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But videotaping the movements of busy police officers produces a lot of data. And where better to store it than the cloud.  Vievu recently signed a partnership with Microsoft to create a platform in the Azure Government cloud specifically for storing, managing and analyzing the data produced by the Vievu cameras.

Vievu started in 2007 and is now used by 4,000 police departments around the world. The firm has seen a 70% uptick in requests for information on Vievu since the Ferguson incident.

Only about 10% of its customers use the company’s cloud-based data management system, which is backed by Azure, but Vievu President Steve Lovell is hoping more of his customers realize the advantages of using the cloud for storing this data.  “We’re seeing a definite shift,” Lovell says. “There’s a trend toward the cloud-based storage.” From an operational and scalability perspective, he says it makes a lot of sense.

Cloud-based services scale up much easier than on-premises storage platforms, which is good for departments that are adding new video daily and need to store it for an extended period of time. Azure’s government cloud can also be configured to be complaint with FBI data security standards. Using the cloud opens a whole new range of possibilities too. Some services can automatically convert any audio on the recordings into text, for example. Other more advanced tools could recognize abnormal behavior on the videos and create an alert. Lovell wants to go from the video being a passive recording device to being an active public safety tool. And to do that, the cloud will play an important role.

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