Augmented reality in law enforcement: what are the challenges?

Augmented reality (AR) holds massive potential for smart policing and unlocking the capacity to rapidly foster visual understanding of complex real-world scenes. This is for law enforcement agencies (LEAs) that are in need to continuously undergo digital transformation to stay one step ahead of criminals and terrorists.

Situational awareness is often critical to the survival and safety of officers and civilians in crime-fighting situations, and AR technology can greatly improve this vital skill by overlaying useful information directly on top of the real world. Currently available technologies, however, lack the processing capacity to deliver rapid, real-time scene interpretation necessary when responding to criminal and terrorist incidents.

Responding to criminal and terrorist incidents by enhancing augmented reality capabilities

DARLENE will develop innovative augmented reality (AR) tools which will improve situational awareness when responding to criminal and terrorist activities. The project will investigate how cutting-edge AR technology combined with computer vision can be deployed to help LEAs and first responders make more informed and rapid decisions, especially in situations where time is of the essence and may make the difference between life and death.

DARLENE will combine innovative AR smart glass technology and powerful computer vision algorithms with 5G network architectures to allow agile processing of real-time data by LEAs even in high-pressure situations. The project aims to strengthen European public security by enabling LEAs to sort through massive volumes of data to better prevent criminal activities and respond more quickly and efficiently to crimes in progress.

Ethical, data protection and social impact assessment of augmented reality tools

Trilateral will provide advice and guidance to the consortium on ethical and data protection issues as they arise during the project and will conduct an integrated ethical, data protection and social impact assessment of augmented reality tools in order to ensure compliance with ethics requirements and build public trust for the lawful use of technology.

Building a network of DARLENE end-users

Trilateral leads on co-design workshops with stakeholders’ communities to validate the technology development undertaken with the DARLENE project. Trilateral also works on building a network of end-users and security stakeholders including law enforcement agencies, first responders, policymakers and ICT technology experts to pave the way to the deployment and commercial uptake of the DARLENE augmented reality tools.

For more information and updates visit the project website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement No 883297.

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