TASER International, a global leader in public safety technology, including body-worn video and smart weapons, today announced two acquisitions to launch a new artificial intelligence (AI) group called “Axon AI.” The company says the acquired technologies and team of around 20 researchers and engineers will accelerate the introduction of new AI-powered capabilities for public safety.

TASER acquired Dextro, Inc., the first computer-vision and deep learning system to make the visual contents in video searchable in real time. The company says this technology, which gives users the ability to quickly isolate and analyze the most important seconds of footage from massive amounts of video data, will form the technology backbone of the new Axon AI platform.

TASER also acquired from Fossil Group, Inc. the computer vision team that was part of Fossil Group's acquisition of Misfit, Inc. The team includes machine-vision researchers focused on improving the accuracy, efficiency and speed of processing images and video. TASER says together, these acquisitions will broaden its DEMS (Digital Evidence Management System) to enable customers to gain more insight from video, photos and audio to improve training, operations and community engagement.

Financial terms of these transactions were not disclosed.

The Axon network connects devices, apps and people for more than half of the nation's major city police agencies. TASER says Axon AI will extend its research and development efforts and significantly expand the capabilities of the Axon network. The company says adding these investments in artificial intelligence will have a transformative impact on Axon products by making workflows smarter including deep data analysis on the more than 5.2 petabytes of customer data hosted across the Axon Network, the company says.

Axon AI will transform key customer workflows using computer vision and natural language processing along with machine learning techniques, TASER says. The addition of artificial intelligence to Axon's upcoming records management system (RMS) has the potential to automate the collection and analysis of virtually all information in public safety while extracting key insights never before possible. TASER CEO Rick Smith says he believes the benefits of this technology will lead to a future of hands-free reporting and real time intel in the field.

“We believe it's time for video data to move to the center of public safety records systems, with far richer and more transparent information than historic text-only systems,” says Smith. “Axon AI is focused on extracting usable information from these video records, automatically populating our new RMS system. AI will significantly streamline these business processes so officers can focus on what matters: their operational environment. Axon AI will also greatly reduce the time spent preparing videos for public information requests or court submission. This will lay the foundation for a future system where records are seamlessly recorded by sensors rather than arduously written by police officers overburdened by paperwork,” concludes Smith.

“Dextro has built a highly advanced video analytics technology driven by machine learning, which requires high volumes of video training data,” says David Luan, Dextro co-founder and CEO. “On the Axon network, customers manage the largest repository of law enforcement footage and annotations in existence. By combining our algorithms with the largest video data network in law enforcement, we create an incredibly powerful AI solution tailored to the unique requirements of public safety. We're excited and honored to partner with Rick and TASER as we continue scaling out our video analysis product to the law enforcement community.”

To learn more about how TASER is bringing AI to law enforcement, officers can join Rick Smith and David Luan for a webinar on February 15, 2017, where they'll discuss the implications of AI in public safety. Register here: www.axon.io/ai-webinar.