TASER International, Inc. on Tuesday introduced the Axon Flex, an on-body camera system that records an officer's point of view during field stops or use-of-force encounters.
The Axon Flex DVR camera can mount to a pair of Oakley's Flak Jacket eyewear sunglasses, allowing greater tactical awareness for officers and agencies. In addition to mounting to the Oakley Flak Jacket eye wear, Axon Flex can also be mounted on an officer's collar, epaulet, ball cap, or helmet. The camera and rapid grip magnetic clip weigh only 15 grams.
"The Axon Flex solution allows officers the flexibility to choose which mounting configuration that best suits their needs and unique circumstances, while the Evidence.com service continues to serve as the most powerful back-end solution available," Rick Smith, TASER's CEO, said in a statement.
The Axon Flex system's ability to capture evidence from the officer's point of view helps protect officers from false claims, enhance public trust, improve civilian behavior, decrease litigation and make communities safer at a lower cost than in-car dashboard cameras or other video solutions, according to Smith.
The Axon Flex uses video-over-Bluetooth streaming technology developed by Looxcie Inc. to send clips to a black controller module that mounts to the officer's uniform. A thin wire connects the camera to the module.
Once the clip is stored on the module's solid-state hard drive, it can be viewed by an officer on an Apple or Android mobile device with a mobile app that's available from TASER. The company is now in the process of gaining approval to offer the app via iTunes and Android Market.
The clip can also be transferred to local storage or the cloud-based Evidence.com platform when plugged into an evidence transfer manager back at the station.
With the purchase of Axon Flex, TASER is providing Evidence.com to agencies at no charge for one year. TASER will begin shipping the Axon Flex units by the end of March. The system will be priced at $700 for the base camera.
TASER announced it has received pre-orders and upgrade orders for more than 590 Flex units from agencies, including the Bay Area Rapid Transit Police (BART), Fort Worth Police Department, Niagara County (N.Y.) Sheriff's Office, and University of Central Florida Police Department."
On-officer video systems like the Axon Flex give us an opportunity to showcase and support the jobs our officers are doing in the field," said Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead in a statement. "Having a complete video record of these incidents will provide a higher level of protection for both our officers and the public.
Taking into consideration officers' concerns about big-brother oversight, TASER added a 30-second video buffer, meaning it records video but no audio from the 30 seconds preceding activation.