As the leader in ruggedized technology, Panasonic released a new video product for the severe duty requirements of public safety. The Panasonic Wearable Camera WV-TW310 series is a self-contained body-worn evidence capture camera that meets the dynamic and all-weather needs of law enforcement.
Panasonic’s Wearable Camera is available in two different sizes. The model WV-TW310L is the longer version with a cable length of 27 inches. The WV-TW310S is the shorter version with a cable length of 22 inches. Typical deployment allows for the longer cable to be used for the patrol officers, while the shorter cable may be better for specialty applications like a K9 harness.
Worn on the officer, the camera body, cable and battery pack are quick to attach. Both the camera and battery pack have clips to attach the unit to the officer’s belt or clothing. A much needed update to the clips is forthcoming that will allow them to rotate 360 degrees for further adjustability.
The 1.3 megapixel camera head is 1.8 inches wide, 2.9 inches tall, and 1.6 inches thick. This small size allows it to be placed almost anywhere. Similarly, the battery pack is 2.4 inches wide, 3.9 inches tall, and 1.4 inches thick. Weight of the battery pack is about 5 ounces, the camera head and long cable weighs in at 7 ounces, while the unit with the short cable is only 5 ounces.
Positioning of the camera head is flexible due to the broad field of view which is at: Horizontal: 180° and Vertical: 140. This works well as the officer moves around during an arrest or when running. In keeping with Panasonic’s commitment to truly ruggedized products, the camera and battery are IP65-compliant dust and water-resistant.
If the unit is mounted to a police dog the camera video capture angle is broad enough to capture vertical images. Image stabilization is provided by a 3 axis gyroscopic sensor that’s will assist in image clarity for image vibration often found when the officer is walking or running.
The Wide Dynamic Range allows the camera to capture details in dark and light areas simultaneously. The high-color reproduction by primary (RGB) color filter and color mode / black-and-white mode automatic switching is available by simple Day / Night function.
Installed in the camera head is an SD card, which is secured by a unique proprietary locking screw that can be controlled by the agency’s IT department if required. The 1280 pixel x 960 pixel image size is captured at up to 30 frames per second. These images are recorded on the SDHC memory card of the camera, and provide up to about 32 hours depending on the video bit rate.
Operation is quick and easy even with gloves on as the camera is only activated at the officer’s touch by a push button on the side of the camera head. The battery pack displays power, recording and SD memory status so the officer can easily see when the unit is recording.
The battery pack is rated for five hours of continuous use, which equates to a full shift if the officer controls recording time. Audio is also recorded with a speaker microphone built in to the camera head. Pre-recording is possible up to 30 seconds, depending on the settings.
Downloading occurs in seconds as soon as the camera is plugged in to the optional Panasonic desktop conversion. Auto download can occur without officer intervention if required or removal of the SD card and insertion in a PC can also be used. The wearable camera agent software automatically uploads to a PC via the conversion box.
Viewer software enables fish-eye original images to play back with stabilization distortion correction. If video security is a concern, the video data can be scrambled and uploaded to a PC, which is then only verified by the Camera Viewer Software.
The Camera Image viewer software is easy to use and self-explanatory. Still photographs can be pulled from the video, and compression to various other storage media is quick and easy. The WV-TW310 series cameras have an MSRP of $958.
Sergeant Brad Brewer is a 22-year member of the Vancouver Police Department. He sits on the Ford Police Advisory Board and regularly gives presentations at law enforcement conferences on mobile computing, wireless technology and police vehicle ergonomics. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.