RIM to offer PlayBook as control center for police cruisers

What’s black and white and features an intelligent system running on a tablet console? It’s a police cruiser outfitted with Research In Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry PlayBook tablet running Mobile Police Assist, a secure records and data management software system from Mobile Innovations.

As vehicles get smaller, space considerations become more of an issue; the portable touch screen tablet is smaller and cheaper than ruggedized laptops, the current technology used, Mobile Innovations President Gary Bauer said in a press release. It’s also outside of the airbag zone, which improves safety for officers.

Law enforcement officials will be able access information while away from the cruiser and automatically enter information received away from the car, as PlayBooks sync with other BlackBerry devices using RIM’s Bridge software. It can connect with Bluetooth devices, including keyboards, printers and barcode scanners, which could improve the process of issuing tickets and scanning licenses RIM said in a blog post

And because the tablet is removable, it can be used as an imaging device too.

The system has full PlayBook functionality, allowing officers to use core and third-party applications in addition to customized police tools, including access to databases, communications and task lists. It interacts with the car’s mechanical systems – officers can trigger the emergency lights, siren and caution sign on the vehicle, and eventually will be able to operate the cruiser’s video feeds via the device, RIM said.

Other features include geo-tagging and time-stamping for photos, videos and notes; dictation and Global Positioning System tracking.

The PlayBook won Best in Show honors from GCN at the FOSE expo and conference in July for its useful features, familiar interface and government-friendly focus.

The concept car, a Dodge Cruiser, debuted at the 2011 Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) Conference, which was held Aug. 21-23 in Windsor, Ontario. The system is slated for general release in 2012.

About the Author

Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.


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