New tech could have helped police locate shooters in Dallas

Chinese traffic police already testing system
July 7, 2016

Potential shooter location in Dallas (credit: Fox News)

JULY 8, 3:56 AM EDT — Livestreamed data from multiple users with cell phones and other devices could be used to help police locate shooters in a situation like the one going on right now in Dallas, says Jon Fisher, CEO of San Francisco-based CrowdOptic.

Here’s how it would work: You view (or record a video of) a shooter with your phone. Your location and the direction you are facing is now immediately available on your device and could be coordinated with data from other persons at the scene to triangulate the position of the shooter.

A CrowdOptic “cluster” with multiple people focused on the same object (credit: CrowdOptic)

This technology, called the “CrowdOptic Interactive Streaming platform,” is already in place, using Google Glass livestreaming, in several organizations, including UCSF Medical Center, Denver Broncos, and Futton, Inc. (working with Chinese traffic police).

Fisher told KurzweilAI his company’s software is also integrated with Cisco Jabber livestreaming video and conferencing products (and soon Spark), and with Sony SmartEyeglass, and that iOS and Android apps are planned.

CrowdOptic also has a product called CrowdOptic Eye, a “powerful, low-bandwidth live streaming device designed to … broadcast live video and two-way audio from virtually anywhere.”

“We’re talking about phones now, but think about all other devices, such as drones, that will be delivering these feeds to CNN and possibly local police,” he said.

ADDED July 11:

“When all attempts to negotiate with the suspect, Micah Johnson, failed under the exchange of gunfire, the Department utilized the mechanical tactical robot, as a last resort, to deliver an explosion device to save the lives of officers and citizens. The robot used was the Remotec, Model  F-5, claw and arm extension with an explosive device of C4 plus ‘Det’ cord.  Approximate weight of total charge was one pound.” — Statement July 9, 2016 by Dallas police chief David O. Brown

The Dallas police department’s decision to use a robot to kill the shooter Thursday July 7, raises questions. For example: Why wasn’t a non-lethal method used with the robot, such as a tranquilizer dart, which also might have given police an opportunity to acquire more information, including the location of claimed bombs and cohorts possibly associated with the crime?