TASER International today announced at its annual shareholders’ meeting a revolutionary new tactical system called the TASER AXON (Autonomous eXtended On-Officer Network). The new AXON will be unveiled at TASER’s annual user conference on June 20.

The AXON is a tactical audio-video recording and networking device designed to be worn by first responders such as law enforcement officers, soldiers, and private security. AXON integrates audio-video recording capability with tactical communications. The state of the art audio-video earpiece with imager, speaker, and microphone integrates into the communication loop between existing radios and the communications headset, recording video of critical incidents from the visual perspective of the officer.

The AXON system will provide greatly enhanced capabilities in four key areas:

Evidence: The AXON provides an audio-video record of an incident from the visual perspective of the officer involved. Because the AXON is designed for full-time recording, actions leading up to the incident are captured. This is a major step forward over conventional technologies that record from vehicles or fixed locations that may not record key events depending on whether they occur within the fixed field of view. Further, the perspective of the video shows events from the visual angle experienced by the officer wearing the AXON system.

Communication: The AXON provides 2-way audio communications between the audio-video earpiece and the officer’s standard radio. By integrating the video imager into the communications earpiece, the AXON provides officer-perspective video without adding additional hardware to the officer.

TACOM Tactical Networking: The AXON CPU integrates TACOM (TASER Communication), a close-range wireless communication capability designed to integrate command and control of future TASER devices that are TACOM compatible, such as the TASER Shockwave area denial system.

Reporting: The AXON system is designed to significantly improve officer efficiency by facilitating more accurate, more efficient incident reporting.

TASER International has partnered with industry leaders on the creation of the AXON system. For the physical product design, TASER International partnered with ATOMdesign, an industry leader in product design and engineering. We have partnered with one of the world’s largest contract manufacturing firms, which is overseeing design for manufacture as well as providing turnkey manufacturing of the AXON hardware. MontaVista Software, the company that invented embedded Linux commercialization in 1999 and has remained the leading company in the category, is developing the embedded software to run the entire AXON system. These strategic partnerships will bring state-of-the-art technology to our customers while minimizing development risk across this groundbreaking project.

“Our mission to ‘Protect Life’ through the use of TASER technology is expanding to ‘Protect Truth’ through cutting-edge technology for digital evidence management,” said Rick Smith, CEO and founder of TASER International Inc. “The TASER AXON will be the command and control center for an integrated network of TASER ECDs and compatible devices. In 1999, TASER International introduced the first law enforcement weapon system with data recording and computer interface features in the ADVANCED TASER M26, and enhanced these capabilities with the TASER X26 in 2003. Additionally, since the introduction of the TASER CAM in 2006, over 20,000 devices have been deployed, making TASER International the global leader in on-officer video recording systems. With AXON, we are now integrating all our technologies together into a synergistic network that will provide law enforcement with revolutionary new capabilities,” concluded Smith.

AXON units are expected to begin commercial shipments in early 2009, and system prices are expected to start at under $1,000.