July 26, 2017

TASER changes name in shift to software, services for police

06 April 2017, 02:39 | Ignacio Smith

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Taser is offering free body cameras to all US police for one year, the stun gun maker announced Wednesday, as well as a company name change to Axon.

The Axon name comes from Taser's unit that sells police body cameras, patrol vehicle cameras and the software for managing the hours of digital footage they generate.

The free trials are going to be costly for Axon: anywhere from $5 million to $100 million, depending on how many police departments take part, said CEO Rick Smith.

Body cameras are a growing business for Taser, which also makes stun guns.

Axon's CEO is thinking about the future of body cameras as incredible time saving devices in addition to (potential) police misconduct reduction devices, telling Quartz that future versions of the camera will come with advanced AI that automatically goes through all the data it collects to come up with automated police reports.

The company may have initially made its name with the Taser device, but the move towards body cameras has been a lucrative one.

For additional information on how to sign up for the offer please visit:

All that will be free for the first year. Two-thirds of cops are in favor of a body camera, according to a recent survey by Pew.

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The Boston association, citing a 2016 Rand Corp. study, said in a statement that "officers wearing body cameras are no less likely to use force but are 15 percent more likely to be assaulted than officers without cameras".

Frontline officers are best positioned to evaluate and test this technology, and we encourage others in this space to give them that chance. We believe, within 10 years, we can automate police reporting.

Smith added about the name change, "Times are changingand so are we". But now the entire company will be known as Axon.

"There's something like a 15 to 1 return on investment for us by letting customers try this because ultimately, this is a network play", Smith told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer on Wednesday.

Axon defines itself as "the global leader in connected law enforcement technologies". But a lengthy process that often comes with contracts with public agencies and a desire to reach more departments, quicker, is driving Axon.

Axon employs nearly 500 hundred people and is valued at more than $1 billion.

Axon is based in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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