While anyone can apply to be a part of the Google Glass Explorer program, it seems a few newer entries are also part of another group — the NYPD. Details coming from a recent report brings mention of how the department has begun testing a “few pairs” of Glass. The NYPD has yet to make any formal announcement, however the source reports how they are being used “mostly for patrol purposes.”
One key aspect here is this is not any Google sponsored project with the NYPD. In a statement provided to Venture Beat, a Google spokesperson confirmed they are not working with the department and clarified that “anyone can sign up to become a Glass Explorer” and how the program currently includes “people from all walks of life.”
That may be the case, however it seems the NYPD is not the only department considering Glass. Or more to the point, while not yet testing Glass, the San Francisco police department seems to understand the potential. Susan Merritt, chief information officer for the department spoke about how they provide a Samsung Galaxy S4 for officers on the street.
The Galaxy S4 allows officers access to the criminal database which means the ability to run warrant checks and pull up mugshots. To that point, Merritt said Google Glass could have a similar value. Of course, there is a bit more potential here with Glass. One app, NameTag, which we saw back in December uses the camera in Glass to take a picture and then cross reference that image with social media.
That all having been said, despite the NYPD being in a testing phase, it was said that it was “too early to tell” whether they would prove useful. Only time will tell how this testing phase goes, and whether or not the NYPD (and other departments) start using Glass on a regular basis.