911 video scares criminals

(Future of 911) — Dialing 911 starts a video recording that is uploaded to a server in real-time. Records are kept online, even if the phone breaks.

Below is a transcript of the video. It was prepared in a hurry and may contain spelling errors.


David Engel: I want to talk about the future of emergency response and how it could work with cellphones.

I have my iPhone here. Whenever I call 911 on my iPhone – based on the new e911 protocols – they should know where I am based on GPS. And that’s nice. But another level of security that I think that we need on these phones is the ability for video to be captured when you call.

What it would look like is: {Flashes iPhone camera in front of screen}

Someone’s attacking a person. They pick up the phone and they’re calling 911, they’re also able to video the entire situation in real-time video in excellent quality.

As they’re video-ing, it’s streaming to a centralized server. A public server. The 911 operator can go and retrieve that information in real time. They would find that information (video stream) by going go to a website, let’s call it 911witness.info, and there would be a search column.

They would just type the number that they see on the caller ID into the search column. That would return the phone’s feed. You see, the number is the identifier for this. You already have the infrastructure in place.

The phone does need to be a little bit faster. Upload speeds do need to be a little faster. I think in 2012, AT&T is going to have a much faster upload speed. I hear rumors about that.

So, this could be happening very, very soon.

Another way this has been suggested to me – this is certainly not my idea – and I don’t have an opinion either way about it. But these feeds could be displayed on Google maps. People could actually watch them because some people like to watch cops or whatever. It could be some sort of live entertainment.

Now, that raises some ethical questions. Whether 911 emergencies are really a community problem. But, actually, I guess they are because a lot of police records are official and public documents…

I don’t know about that. I don’t even want to get into that. I just want to throw it out there.

Really, the greatest thing is that having this would allow victims to have better pictures to identify attackers. It could also be used as a deterrent to attackers. Because as soon as this camera rolls, it’s archived to a central server. You can bet that it’s gonna be looked at.

This probably wouldn’t work so well at night unless the camera had a good night vision. There are certainly enough occurrences during the day where it would be helpful.

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