In the military and police worlds, achieving situational awareness is a key to a successful mission.
Strongwatch Corporation, a young Tucson-based technology company, designs and builds surveillance systems that provide situational awareness for law enforcement and military forces.
The company calls the system “Freedom on-the-Move,” and it’s designed to give police and military covert and mobile surveillance capabilities in an easy-to-use modular system.
“A lot of what we do is being a very good incorporator of technologies,” said William “Drew” Dodds, director of sales for Strongwatch.
Much of Freedom-on-the-Move is made from components acquired from various manufacturers, including parts like optical sensors, cameras, laser range finders, gyro stabilizers and a mast that sends the mailbox-sized sensor head that houses all that acquired technology 25 feet in the air.
The system can be installed in the bed of a pickup truck or rear of other heavy-duty vehicles. When fully deployed, the mast looks like that on a television news truck.
Another borrowed technology Strongwatch employs makes controlling the system as simple as playing a video game. The company integrated Xbox home gaming system controllers to operate the system, which Dodds said sets the Freedom-on-the-Move system apart from other similar mobile surveillance.
In addition to the familiarity of the Xbox controller, it provides a low-cost option for replacements.
“If it breaks, you can send someone to Walmart and get one for $60,” Dodds said. Repairs on other surveillance systems with proprietary interfaces can cost $1,000 and more to replace and take weeks to get done, he said...