The NYPD Is Testing Google Glass for 'Patrol Purposes' The agency reportedly obtained the high-tech eyewear through the Google Glass Explorer program. Google says it isn't working on the project with any law enforcement agency.

By Benjamin Kabin

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The watchful eye of the NYPD could already be staring at you through Google Glass.

The New York Police Department apparently obtained the high-tech specs just like anyone else would -- through the Google Glass Explorer program, VentureBeat reported.

"We signed up, got a few pairs of the Google glasses, and we're trying them out, seeing if they have any value in investigations, mostly for patrol purposes," a city law enforcement official told VentureBeat.

Google, however, does not endorse the law enforcement beta-testing and says it isn't working with any law enforcement agencies as far as Glass is concerned.

Related: In Google Glass Case, Laws Again Lag Innovations

"The Google Glass Explorer program includes people from all walks of life, including doctors, firefighters and parents. Anyone can sign up to become a Glass Explorer, provided he or she is a U.S. resident and over the age of 18," the company said in a statement to VentureBeat.

Even if Google isn't totally keen on the idea—for now—the potential application and implications seem almost limitless. The technology could be used to check criminal databases warrants and mug shots, record events and be integrated with facial recognition technology. Videos and photography, which are more reliable than any memory, could replace or supplement hand written reports, saving time and preserving objectivity.

Related: Wearable Tech: 5 Obstacles to Going Mass Market

Wearable devices, however, also have potential for abuse, critics point out, and in some cases, could violate civil rights.

The NYPD says it's still too early to tell if Google Glass will actually become a standard tool for its officers. But if it does, that could mean an order of more than 34,000 from the world's biggest law enforcement agency. And if others follow in its footsteps, law enforcement agencies could represent some of Google's best customers, an image its not likely to embrace.

Related: The Pros and Cons of Google Glass for Business Travel

Wavy Line
Benjamin Kabin


Benjamin Kabin is a Brooklyn-based technology journalist who specializes in security, startups, venture capital and social media.

Editor's Pick

She's Been Coding Since Age 7 and Presented Her Life-Saving App to Tim Cook Last Year. Now 17, She's on Track to Solve Even Bigger Problems.
I Helped Grow 4 Unicorns Over 10 Years That Generated $18 Billion in Online Revenues. Here's What I've Learned.
Want to Break Bad Habits and Supercharge Your Business? Use This Technique.
Don't Have Any Clients But Need Customer Testimonials? Follow These 3 Tricks To Boost Your Rep.
Why Are Some Wines More Expensive Than Others? A Top Winemaker Gives a Full-Bodied Explanation.

Related Topics


The Rise of Nano-Influencers: How the Smallest Voices are Making the Biggest Impact

The bigger an influencer is, the more beneficial it is for a brand to collaborate with them, right? Not necessarily.


Working Remote? These Are the Biggest Dos and Don'ts of Video Conferencing

As more and more businesses go remote, these are ways to be more effective and efficient on conference calls.

Growing a Business

The Best Way to Run a Business Meeting

All too often, meetings run longer than they should and fail to keep attendees engaged. Here's how to run a meeting the right way.

Business News

'I'm Not a Very Good Businessman': Kevin Costner Is Risking a Ton of His Own Money on New Project

The "Yellowstone" star discussed how he bankrolled his new epic movies — and his accountant isn't happy.

Business News

'I Am Just Floored': Woman Discovers She Won $1 Million Lottery Prize While Checking Her Email at Work

Initially, she thought the email was a scam, but went to lottery headquarters and walked away with a six-figure check after taxes.

Business News

Woman Goes Viral For Brow-Raising Email Signature About Working Moms: 'Everyone Is Feeling This'

The email signature was created in response to pressure to answer emails within 24 hours.