Body-worn cameras are utilized by law enforcement to record their interactions with the public and to gather video evidence at crime scenes. The intention is to increase both officer and citizen accountability. For this project, I investigated the pain-points that existing body-worn surveillance systems present and designed a solution to the largest problems discovered in my research. The TASER Fusion wearable combines communications and video evidence gathering into a comfortable and durable wearable solution.
TRADED AS: NASDAQ: TASR
HEADQUARTERS: Scottsdale, Arizona
Patrick W. Smith, co-founder, CEO
Thomas P. Smith, co-founder
Doug Kilnt, President and General Counsel
Body worn cameras
Digital evidence management solutions
REVENUE: $164.5 million USD 92014)
HEADCOUNT: 485 (2013)
TASER International is a leading manufacturer of electronic weapons, body worn cameras, and digital evidence management products. They have been ir Axon line of body worn cameras I chose to develop this conceptual product as a next-generation Axon body camera for Taser International after I was given the opportunity to tour their Seattle office. Taser is a leader in body worn cameras but has yet to release a fully head-mounted solution.
Traditional body worn cameras are chest or shoulder mounted. Law enforcement officers frequently pivot or turn their line of site without moving their body. Often, a law enforcement officer’s line of sight will conflict with the field of view on their chest-mounted camera, especially when using their firearm. Such problems often render body-cams effectively useless. Furthermore, law enforcement officers already carry a large amount of gear, and adding a bulky body-cam is less than ideal.
I studied the Taser® International brand and form language to make sure that my solution would fit in well with their product line and marketing. The Taser brand evokes ruggedness and durability and one user even told me “it looks like it could withstand a bullet, which is important.” Evoking this same ruggedness in a wearable product without compromising comfort presented an interesting design challenge.
Throughout my design process I created countless moodboards that helped me visually realize the problem area, similar products, brands, users, and form language. As I developed the final form I turned to my style inspiration moodboards to help find a good balance between comfort and ruggedness.
My solution, designed for TASER International, is a head-mounted wearable that contains both a camera and two-way radio. The communications system is mounted to the right side of the user’s face and utilizes bone-conduction to relay audio through the skull bone. The advantages of this system include freeing the user’s ear from a traditional headphone that might prevent alertness and preventing the audio from being heard by any surrounding people. The body-camera takes advantage of a 14mm ultra-wide angle lens to capture rectilinear film. The camera rests directly above the user’s ear, and the wide-angle lens allows for some margin of error in the fitting without impairing the evidence gathering. Like TASER® International’s other wearable cameras, the Fusion system would be paired via bluetooth to the user’s mobile phone. The camera would capture and store video evidence locally and securely stream video to a server maintained by TASER® International to prevent evidence tampering.