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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Reader Comments

Tue, Sep 13, 2011 Ottawa ON

The use cases may be similar to the Redlands PD, however, the functions are not. The MPA products are built around the inherent security features of RIM products, as well as the specific functionality to access law enforcement (LE) information systems. MPA, though, does not offer something that is entirely unique: read http://xwave.com/key_industries/industry.aspx?IdKey=3&IdPage=50. The interesting features presented @ CACP 2011 are the in-vehicle integration. Also, using the RIM infrastructure and PIN capabilities, you are mitigating the use of the civilian cell network, which in itself is a resilient piece of critical infrastructure. If you have not heard about BlackBerry PIN. then you may have heard about the hugely popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) messaging platform that leverages the PIN feature. Apple just cannot compete with that! This should not be a debate about Apple vs RIM; rather it should be about addressing core policing needs to serve the public.

Mon, Aug 29, 2011 Philip Mielke Redlands CA

Identical function and use case with iPads/iPhones. http://www.apple.com/ipad/business/profiles/redlandspd/ http://www.esri.com/library/newsletters/public-safety-log/pslog-summer2011.pdf

Thu, Aug 25, 2011

And how does it call home to Mama back at HQ? Dedicated RF link, or civilian cell phone network? Emergency comms that depend on cell network to be up and running, and not swamped with civilian traffic, have obvious risks.

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