Military police try on digital system

Military police conducting the first field test of a Digital MP Military police conducting the first field test of a Digital MP system found

they were able to see in the dark, tap remote databases of criminal records

and keep in touch with their partners via streaming video.

Digital MP was tested at Fort Polk, La., Oct. 30 through Nov. 3, according

to an Army press release. Fort Polk's 91st Military Police Detachment tested

the system along with officials from the Defense Advanced Research Projects

Agency.

Digital MP consists of:

* An eyeglass-mounted miniature camera that provides streaming video

to a military policeman's partner.

* A wearable computer developed by ViA Inc., The MicroOptical Corp.

and Honeywell Inc.

* A hands-free, voice-operated interface.

* A battery that provides day-long power on a single charge.

Henry Giralomo, Digital MP program manager, described the system as

a "lightweight, wearable communications and information management system

designed to help carry out reconnaissance, checkpoint security, anti-terrorism

operations and other military police missions."

Using Digital MP, military police can remain connected wirelessly and

provide partners with streaming video showing their situation. They can

also take live videos while making traffic stops or at checkpoints and have

that video automatically compared to digital mug shots stored in the FBI's

National Crime Information Center database. Military police would then be

alerted if the person stopped has a criminal record or is a suspected terrorist

or war criminal.

Another part of the Digital MP system enables officers separated by

terrain to use an electronic glove that transmits hand signals. The glove

contains sensors that translate preprogrammed hand signals into words — such as "suspect armed" — that are displayed on the eyeglass monitors of fellow military police on patrol.

The system can also translate English into another language and vice

versa with only a five-second lag. It has been programmed for Spanish, Korean,

Arabic, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Thai and Turkish, and

officials plan to add common military jargon, such as "clicks" for "kilometers."

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