Body-worn cameras are wearable audio, video, or pictorial recording systems, commonly known as body cameras or wearable cameras. In contrast to other types of video technology, body-worn cameras serve the dual purpose of law enforcement and public accountability. As per Inkwood Research, the global body-worn camera market is estimated to grow with a CAGR of 16.04% during the forecast period 2023-2032.
Over recent years, body-worn cameras have become an essential tool for law enforcement authorities, security personnel, and other professionals requiring a hands-free video recording solution. Designed to provide an objective record of events, these devices help improve transparency and accountability, thus ensuring the safety of both the wearer as well as the public.
As the demand for body-worn cameras continues to grow, with the global market evaluated at $396.41 million in 2022, as per Inkwood Research, manufacturers are consistently focused on the development of new technologies. These efforts are primarily directed toward improving the performance, functionality, and capabilities of these devices.
Accordingly, some of the latest tech developments in body-worn cameras are as follows:
GC550 2K Mini Body Camera –
- Hytera Communications (China), a leading global provider of professional communications solutions and technologies, released the GC550 2K Mini Body Camera, the company’s latest Body-Worn Camera (BWC) model, in January 2023.
- Curated with intensive attention to ergonomics, the body-worn camera aims to promote personnel safety for law enforcement and security, as well as workplace transparency. Ke Wang, Vice President at Hytera, says, “GC550 is designed to capture fine details as evidence for legal investigations and court proceedings.”
- The device’s sliding switch enables a quick start to record during emergencies and intuitively displays the recording status through its position. Through this, users can remain focused on the situation instead of paying excessive attention to their body-worn devices, thus improving efficiency.
EOS™ (BodyWorn) by Utility –
- Utility (United States), an innovative technology company recognized for the development of digital systems for frontline professions, introduced BodyWorn 6.0 in 2022.
- Characterized as the newest iteration of the company’s BodyWorn body camera, the 6.0 update offers improved capabilities to further enhance the technology, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to generate situational awareness.
- Some of its core features include camera preview while recording, quick forward/backward on video playback, picture notes with audio transcription, driver’s license scanner, audio recorder, and others. (BodyWorn by Utility ushered in a new beginning for digital video surveillance, renaming it EOS by Utility.)
AXIS W100 Body Worn Camera –
- Axis Communications (Sweden), an industry leader in network video, announced its first body-worn solution designed for use by private security as well as law enforcement personnel in March 2020.
- The solution – including the docking station, robust camera, and system controller – has been designed on an open system architecture, facilitating integration with other evidence management systems (EMS) as well as video management systems (VMS).
- Easily scalable for cost-efficient and larger body-worn systems, the system offers a single integration and management point, subsequently enabling reliable and swift video offloading (100Mbit per camera). Additionally, the AXIS Body Worn Assistant mobile application also allows users to evaluate footage and add notes, categories, and descriptions.
- In a recent development, CoxHealth, a not-for-profit health system based in Springfield, Missouri, upgraded its public safety and security officers’ body-worn cameras with Axis Communication’s state-of-the-art solution. The update, announced in March 2022, is set to increase the six-hospital system’s overall visitor, patient, and medical staff safety.
Axon Body 3 –
- Axon (United States), a major leading manufacturer of body-worn cameras and the global leader in connected public safety technologies, released the Axon Body 3 in 2019.
- The camera features improved video quality, longer battery life, and enhanced low-light performance, making it a popular choice among law enforcement agencies. According to Jeff Tudor, San Leandro Police Chief, “The new technology in the Axon Body 3 camera will allow our officers to better utilize this critical tool and improve our service to the community.”
- Furthermore, in August 2021, Axon announced that the Gujarat State Police is set to equip officers across Gujarat, India, with more than 10,300 body-worn cameras as well as Axon’s digital evidence management solution.
- While the body-worn camera’s novel features include real-time functionality such as live maps, alerts, and live streaming, the functionalities constitute a mobile experience and real-time critical evidence offloading from the field, among others.
Body-Worn Camera Market: Applications Beyond Law Enforcement
According to a 2018 Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report, the top reasons that sheriff’s offices and local police implemented body-worn cameras were to enhance officer safety, reduce agency liability, augment evidence quality, and minimize civilian complaints. At the same time, technology companies, such as Motorola Solutions, have also started demonstrating the advantages of these cameras to a wider range of organizations, including retail operators.
For example, in the commercial sector, body-worn cameras can be utilized to monitor potential theft, in addition to verifying that safety protocols are effectively followed. While reviewing video footage with team members can be useful for training purposes, new hires can also learn from how current employees deal with real-world situations.
The use of body-worn cameras has continued to enhance accountability, transparency, and public trust worldwide. It is deemed an indispensable tool for law enforcement agencies, private security firms, the retail sector, and other organizations necessitating video documentation of their operations. As technology continues to advance, these multi-faceted devices are set to witness concrete applications in various domains, thus providing the global body-worn camera market with lucrative growth prospects.
What are the potential limitations of body-worn cameras?
Privacy concerns, high costs, and data storage issues are some of the potential disadvantages of body-worn cameras.
How can the footage captured by body-worn cameras be stored?
The footage captured by body-worn cameras can be saved on online web-based digital media storage platforms or on internal storage devices.