Police cruisers in Canada may soon be outfitted with BlackBerry PlayBooks. That’s why Mobile Innovations, a Niagara Falls based company dedicated to enhancing law enforcement through mobile technology, has been touring the north-east showcasing their PlayBook equipped Dodge Charger demo vehicle. Gary Bauer, CEO of Mobile Innovations, has been personally driving the demo vehicle from agency to agency and he says that the interest is huge everywhere he shows up. Gary jokes that when he pulls in cops put down their doughnuts and pickup the PlayBooks.
The car is a great example of how PlayBooks can be used to reduce costs while increasing efficiency. Currently, police agencies are using laptops that cost upwards of $5,000 per unit – Playbooks cost less than $500, are smaller, and more versatile. The Mobile Innovations solution features a Playbook attached to a mount with 8 USB expansion slots that connect to existing in-car peripherals: printer, dash mounted drivers license scanner, the vehicle CAN bus, camera system, SSD in the trunk, and keyboard. Mobile Innovations hopes to have 5 demo cruisers on the road by year-end and first actual police deployments happening in the first half of 2012. Another critical factor which could see huge adoption of PlayBooks is that a vehicle changeover is happening. The classic Crown Victoria is being replaced by newer vehicles that don’t afford officers as much space which is forcing a rethink of what should be in there.
This is a great example of how the PlayBook is being customized and integrated into RIM’s existing enterprise markets. At this point Mobile Innovations is focusing on law enforcement but has indicated that many other verticals are actively approaching them for similar solutions. We’ll keep you posted on their progress. In the mean time check out these video’s showcasing their demo vehicle.