IoT enhances safety for police officers

  • March 6, 2024
  • Steve Rogerson

A tactical vest for police offers uses IoT and artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance safety on operations.

The connected tactical vest project uses AI for abnormal-situation detection system and can transmit this warning to a command centre via the IoT.

For the operational needs of various law-enforcement professions, this is the first result of a partnership between France’s General Directorate of the National Gendarmerie (DGGN) and Wearin’, a start-up from Swiss technology group Conextivity.

The tactical IoT offering attaches to pre-installed body armour and ensures redundant safety and connectivity through an AI-enhanced warning device that is independent of current radio systems. Called the Wearin’ Brain, this rugged device is triggered either manually by an SOS button, or automatically when it detects an abnormal situation such as loss of verticality, piercing of the body armour cover after a stab wound, or a bullet impact. In the event of a warning, the device also transmits the location of personnel.

The connectivity kit features smart power management via a central high-performance battery guaranteeing eight hours of autonomy, which increases the running time of gendarmes’ electronic equipment. Equipment can be recharged via a single cable, which the agent can connect at the end of a mission, or to a vehicle if required during an extended mission.

The Wearin’ Brain, battery and its quick-release system are integrated ergonomically into the vest via Molle fasteners or heavy-duty multifunctional pouches with no snagging areas. The kit also has luminous fibres integrated into the front and back of the vest offering personnel on night operations the option of enhanced visibility.

“The vest that we are co-developing with Wearin’ embeds the latest technologies in connectivity, detection, communication and visibility,” said Fabrice Blanc, director of the connected vest programme at the DGGN.

Called Wearin’ X DGGN Smart Tactical Vest, it has been designed with an open, modular architecture that keeps the interoperability of current and future systems in focus. Over the course of the partnership, it will be able to evolve and adapt to meet the operational needs of law-enforcement agencies, which vary according to the different types of intervention by gendarmes, national or municipal police officers, or customs agents.

“It’s the field that commands in this type of applied innovation,” said Jonathan Brossard, director of Wearin’ and CEO of Conextivity. “Versatility, modularity and interoperability are at the heart of our R&D approach. The smart vest’s functionalities and performances will be tested by various units of the gendarmerie throughout 2024, with the aim of meeting their diverse needs in terms of safety, resilience and efficiency in the field. Our collaboration with the DGGN involves pooling our experience, skills and technologies to deliver a cutting-edge, open system that will evolve in line with the current and future requirements of agents’ multiple professions and missions.”

The IoT platform developed by Wearin’ can be delivered with a dashboard integrated into the command-centre system to provide real-time information about the situation on the ground, via data from sensors, warning devices and communication systems worn by personnel on operations. Based on this precise intelligence of operations underway, transmitted in bidirectional streams, commanders can speed up tactical decision-making and improve the coordination of intervention units, as well as their response times.

The partnership between Wearin’ and the DGGN is supported by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces’ Defense Innovation Agency and the National Gendarmerie’s transformation department.

The connected tactical vest is being shown at this week’s World Police Summit (www.worldpolicesummit.com) in Dubai.

Founded in 2019 by the third generation of the Fischer family of Conextivity Group (conextivity.com), Wearin’ (www.wearin.tech) creates wearable IoT products that enhance safety and efficiency by improving situational awareness and enabling better coordination of connected humans such as lone workers, security agents, firefighters and first responders. Its products, designed in its R&D centre in Morges, Switzerland, make high-risk work environments safer and smarter with real-time insights from user-generated field data.