For Investors, There Are Several Ways To Play The Personal Surveillance Trend
Last year brought about a great deal of mistrust between police and civilians after the events in Ferguson, MI. In the wake of that tragedy, President Obama pledged to invest $75 million in government funds to provide police around the country with personal body cameras.
The cameras were meant to protect both police and civilians, as they would record and store the officers’ activities for review if needed.
TASER International (NASDAQ: TASR) and Vievu, a private Seattle business, have snapped up the majority of gains from Obama’s $75 million investment, but the space is expected to continue growing as more professionals adopt the new technology.
TASER shares gained nearly 65 percent in 2014, while Vievu reported sales of more than 30,000 personal cameras since the announcement.
Camera sales are only a small part of the revenue stream for these companies, though; TASER has developed its own software program to accompany its cameras called EVIDENCE.com. The program logs the recorded data and allows officers to link their camera to their smartphone or tablet for $99 per month.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) is also looking to get in on the action by partnering with Vievu to create a similar cloud service to support the technology.
The decision has sparked a nationwide frenzy for personal recording devices and their cloud-based software in order to protect workers in other professions from being falsely accused.
Sales for body mounted cameras have seen a marked increase since the Ferguson shootings, as people working in everything from home repairs to delivery services try to protect themselves. GoPro Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRO) shares have gained 62.12 percent over the past six months while Digital Ally Inc. (NASDAQ: DGLY) is up nearly 360 percent.
Though some believe the trend toward personal surveillance is disturbing, jobs that have a high probability of consumer complaints are embracing it as a way to settle disputes quickly and inexpensively.
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