On this week's "TechKnow," contributor and former CIA operative Lindsay Moran learns about the "eye in the sky" technology developed by Dayton-based company Persistence Surveillance Systems (PSS). Their airborne camera system can record large areas of a city, allowing analysts and law enforcement to pinpoint individuals and vehicles that may have been involved in a crime and better track where they go after leaving the scene.
Moran drove around Dayton, Ohio, to test how well the cameras could follow her. While she took a short tour through city streets, PSS president Ross McNutt tracked her movements.
Vehicles and people show up as dots using the PSS computers, so identifying and following people of interest relies on scanning event locations. McNutt indicated that the PSS cameras could have been useful in the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
PSS was being tested in Dayton, but it could be a while before the technology finds a place in many major US cities. Still, law enforcement recognizes major potential in having this aerial technology as a resource.
"I think once the community understands that both the capability of this technology and its limitations will be applied in a very strategic, very thoughtful manner -- lawful manner," said Richard Biehl, chief of the Dayton Police Department, "I think we get reasonable people to agree that this is a technology that we should continue to explore."
Watch "TechKnow," Saturdays at 7PM ET/4PM PT on Al Jazeera America.