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Samsung DeX to replace In-Car Computers

Samsung’s DeX platform is a smart way to use a smartphone on a much bigger canvas, but it’s always felt a bit like an answer to a problem. Samsung is today highlighting a perfect use case for DeX — police cars in Chicago.

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Police in Chicago’s West Side 11th district is piloting Samsung DeX as a replacement for their present in-car computer systems, the Chicago Police Department and Samsung declared this week. Officers will have a Samsung Galaxy Smartphone which they can use to access dispatch alerts, notifications from gunshot detection systems, and real-time viewing and control of security cameras. Officers can then dock their smartphones in the car or police station to gain from a larger screen and keyboard when entering collected evidence. All officers in Chicago’s 11th should be using the DeX system by the year-end.

The Chicago Police department is piloting Samsung DeX In-Vehicle Solution and plans to roll out the solution across the 11th (Harrison) District throughout the year. The initiative is designed to give officers more tools at their fingertips, including the ability to write notes, complete reports, connect to CPD servers, capture images and video and more. DeX technology works with an officer's Samsung Galaxy smartphone, allowing it to function as a computer when connected to a tablet and keyboard mounted within a police vehicle.

Posted by Chicago Police Department on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

At a press conference declaring the initiative, Jonathan Lewin, who is the Chief of the Chicago Police Department, shared that the main advantage of the new system is mobility. Although some of the department’s old in-car computers have been removable, officers rarely bother because of their size and weight. Now they’ll be able to have their machines with them all the time. Additionally, there are potential cost advantages. One study commissioned by Samsung estimated that departments could save as much as 15 per cent in the first year, and 32 per cent annually thereafter, by using this system.

Lewin noted that “the system seamlessly takes an officer through the entire lifecycle of an incident” including getting dispatch assignments while on the street, conducting name checks, vehicle checks, and starting with incident reports.

He said the system also supports viewing and controlling (tilt, pan, and zoom) the district’s security cameras, and can also view mapping information to see if an incident is part of a trend. It also benefits from the Android app ecosystem, and Lewin said that he expects officers to use their phones to record audio, take photos, and take notes.

According to the Police Chief, the smartphones will build on the police department’s current systems like the Strategic Decision Support Centers it started investing in back in 2016.

It also collaborates with the department’s “ShotSpotter” gunshot detection system which is installed in 11 of Chicago’s 22 police districts. In the future, plans will be made to integrate the system with the department’s in-car cameras, and to allow officers to contribute to reports by speaking directly into their phones.

James J

James has been writing about tech since 2009 after spending 25 years in a computer research lab studying and improving the future of computers. He watches Netflix sci-fi with his pet, enjoying spicy snacks.
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