A new invention – a police spy camera – called a “camera ball” (it’s official name is “Explorer”) is being lauded as a new and innovative way to help police officers out in dangerous situations. The idea is that the spy camera, shown below, can be thrown into a home, alley, or area where police are not in a safe position to go, and then, through it’s live rapid photo feed be able to access the situation.
But what about it’s other implications? Where do privacy laws come into play when police can now simply throw a ball into your backyard, for example,and your dog happily carries it into your home thinking it’s a toy? Then, the camera can give police or other authorities a direct live link to everything happening in your home.
Morning Ticker reports :
“The tactical camera is manufactured by Bounce IMagine, and soon cops will be using it to take a look at areas that they can’t see into normally, which could be a huge boon to them in a potentially deadly situations, according to an MIT News report .
Because police are often in the situation where they have to invade an area that could have dangerous people lurking within waiting to ambush them, these tactical cameras could prevent that sort of confrontation from ever happening.
It’s a small sphere, about the size of a softball, making it easy for cops to throw them into a room. It is encased in a hard rubber shell that protects the six camera lenses positioned inside. The camera is capable of snapping photos from each lens several times a second, and then stitching together those images and uploading them to a mobile device instantly.
And the applications go beyond law enforcement situations. These balls could also be used by first responders, such as in cases where a building has collapsed and there are survivors trapped in spaces that are virtually impossible to reach by a human.”
The report from MIT News  states:
Bounce Imaging, founded by an MIT alumnus, is giving officers and rescuers a safe glimpse into the unknown.
In July, the Boston-based startup will release its first line of tactical spheres, equipped with cameras and sensors, that can be tossed into potentially hazardous areas to instantly transmit panoramic images of those areas back to a smartphone.
“It basically gives a quick assessment of a dangerous situation,” says Bounce Imaging CEO Francisco Aguilar MBA ’12, who invented the device, called the Explorer.
According to both reports, 100 of these camera ball spy Explorers will be in use in local Boston police departments by July.
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