Published: Thu, April 06, 2017
Tech | By Constance Martin

Body-camera maker offers 1-year trial to police agencies

Body-camera maker offers 1-year trial to police agencies

The company also announced that it will change its name from TASER International to Axon.

"That's why we're giving this opportunity to every single police officer in America", Smith said. The Taser product still made up a majority of the company's revenue past year, but the name change signals the company's overall shift toward body cameras, software and artificial intelligence. Our connected body cameras and evidence-management cloud allow police officers to work effectively and transparently, and our TASER Smart Weapons protect life without taking it.

Taser International, the company behind ubiquitous shock devices carried by law enforcement officers nationwide, announced Wednesday that it was changing its name as part of a shift toward focusing on body cameras worn by police.

Police interest in body cameras has accelerated in the last few years following a number of high-profile deaths at the hands of police officers.

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The company formerly known as Taser will be now be known as Axon, according to TechCrunch, and in order to get people real amped up for this exciting new brand, the company will give any police department that asks a full set of Axon 2 cameras to use for a year, and the training on how to use them.

A recent audit of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority officers wearing body cameras, for example, found that the devices reduced officer injury by 30 percent, and suspect injuries by 20 percent. In addition to the name change, the company will be providing free support to police department across the United States. And the prospect of having more police departments sign on after their yearlong trial probably isn't a bad look either. The Axon-related sales saw a much bigger jump, almost doubling from a year earlier, while Taser sales went up by about a quarter. We're locked into a contract with competing body camera manufacturer VieVu, despite the protestations of Comptroller Scott Stringer's office when the NYPD went ahead with the $6.4 million contract. The Taser weapons segment is much larger, at $202.6 million, but is not growing as quickly, with a 25 percent gain previous year. They can also be used in "drive stun" mode, which involves pressing the device against a person and does not incapacitate them but causes pain that is meant to force compliance.

Smith adds that he thinks there might be some complaining from his competitors, but says: "Ultimately what we think is going to happen is that they're going to follow suit".

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