More and more police forces and other security organisations are equipping their personnel with body-worn video cameras to record evidence in real time. With 41 % annual growth, the sector is booming – with many similar products now in the market, how can an SME set itself apart as truly innovative?
‘What we wanted was to have a live-streaming video camera,’ says Adam Liardet, of the EU-funded BIO-AX project. His company, Audax, had been developing body-worn cameras
since 2005 but saw the potential for a device that could, when required, transmit video and audio direct to a command centre rather than simply recording footage for viewing later. Liardet successfully applied for support from the EU’s Horizon 2020 SME Instrument
programme and started the two-year project in 2016 to bring the new camera system to fruition.
As well as funding the technical development of the camera, the programme gave Audax access to advice and support with project management and marketing.
The new camera, also called Bio-AX, can stream live video via the mobile phone network aswell as recording in the usual way. Users can insert their own SIM card to connect directly to any network they choose, unlike competing products that use an insecure tethered
connection to a mobile phone. ‘This offers choice and flexibility and doesn’t rely on additional purchases or functionality of other equipment,’ Liardet says.
Audax have taken a strategic decision to supply all the necessary back-room software with the initial purchase rather than re quire an annual licence. ‘Customers are not going to have these expensive add-ons in the future. This is what makes real innovation – it’s not just the technology, it’s market disruption,’ he explains.
All the Bio-AX software, a complete package for storing and managing recorded video for evidential purposes, is written in-house, retaining full ownership and security. The system is fully compliant with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into force in May 2018, and new UK standards for body-worn cameras. Data is transmitted with strong AES256 encryption.
Giving something back
With the project finished and the Bio-AX system now on sale, Audax is looking forward to gaining a share of the USD 1.5 billion world market for body-worn video projected by 2021.‘We’ve got a lot of interest from organisations not just throughout Europe but across the globe,’ Liardet says.
Audax is promoting an EU pavilion at the International Security Expo in London in November where EU-funded companies will present their projects. ‘Having recently finished our successful H2020 project and having been so well supported by the European SME Instrument, I thought the right thing to do would be to give something back by helping other SMEs with their projects,’ Liardet says.
The company is also working with a London college to offer accredited courses on the use of body-worn video. ‘This dynamic course structure provides the knowledge to use BWV
appropriately and proportionately to ensure safety, security and the privacy of people being recorded,’ he says. ‘The course is applicable to all current and potential BWV users and will enhance both the public- and private-sectors best practice guidelines, demonstrating their commitment to operational best practice within the law.’
Project acronym: Bio-AX
Project N°: 719806
Total costs: € 1 170 284
EU contribution: € 772 282
Duration: March 2016 to February 2018
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© European Union, 2018