Information Warfare: December 6, 2000


US Army MPs at Fort Polk, Louisiana, were the first to test the new "Digital MP" system in late October and early November. MPs wore special eyeglasses that mounted a camera that continually transmitted streaming video to their partners and commanders. The MPs could, on a screen inside the eyeglasses, read text files from a database or compare the individual they were confronting with photos of known offenders (or the official file photo of the individual the suspect claims to be). The Digital MP system is designed to help MPs be more effective in security, crime prevention and investigation, and counter-terrorism. The core of the system is a wearable computer developed by ViA Inc., MicroOptical Corporation, and Honeywell Incorporated. The system uses a hands-free voice activated interface. The system includes a "military E-book" that fits in a BDU pocket. This is basically a "palm" type computer which can be read easily in strong sunlight but does not emit enough light to give away the soldier's position. Part of the system is a glove that could function as a computer mouse to bring up information on the screen inside the eyeglasses. Digital face recognition software in a mainframe computer can read the images transmitted from the individual MP and warn him if the individual he is speaking with is a known war criminal, terrorist, or suspect.--Stephen V Cole


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