Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Axon Sees Virtual and Augmented Reality in Its Future

By Travis Hoium - Feb 7, 2018 at 8:34AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Body cameras may just be the beginning for Axon.

When taser and body camera maker Axon (AXON -1.15%) announced on Monday that it had hired a "team of world-renowned imaging and VR/AR experts," it came as a bit of a surprise. Virtual reality might not be the first thing you think of in connection with law enforcement, but it may become an important technology that police can use to increase their effectiveness

By investing in virtual and augmented reality, Axon is also showing a willingness to experiment with new products that could help it to maintain its leading market position in the future. 

Police officer at a computer station.

Image source: Axon.

What Axon is doing

Axon said it had opened a new R&D facility in Tampere, Finland, that will lead the charge into VR and AR. The press release described the mission this way: 

This group will focus on enhancing the capabilities of Axon's future wearable and in-car cameras and developing a platform for future advancements that leverage Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The team had been part of Nokia, and then Microsoft, gaining industry expertise in the imaging market. But with Microsoft shutting down Nokia, the respected team of imaging engineers needed a home for their talents, which is where Axon stepped in. 

How Axon views VR and AR

You see Axon's vision for its next-generation products starting to form. It invested in artificial intelligence capabilities last year, and is now adding virtual and augmented reality. Long term, I could see the company being able to create fully immersive views of incidents using the feeds from multiple Axon cameras. It's also likely their content will be searchable using artificial intelligence, meaning law enforcement would be able to find a person or item, then follow it through the video stream. 

It'll likely be years before we see virtual reality cameras in police officers' cars, but it may happen. And that would be truly revolutionary for all of law enforcement. 

Keeping a technology lead

Axon has stayed a step ahead of competitors by bringing together leading-edge technologies in one simple-to-use package. It started with body cameras, then expanded into the cloud, and in 2018 will tie its products more closely together with a holster that turns body cameras on when a gun is drawn, and a records management system. Advancing into virtual or augmented reality is the next step in the product line. 

If Axon continues to push the technology envelope, it'll entrench itself more completely with law enforcement around the world. This week's announcement may sound crazy on the surface, but if you look at it as a way to bring valuable technology to police that will help them do their jobs better, while simultaneously keeping the company ahead of its rivals, it appears to be a great move for its shareholders. 

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Axon Enterprise Stock Quote
Axon Enterprise
AXON
$95.68 (-1.15%) $-1.11
Microsoft Corporation Stock Quote
Microsoft Corporation
MSFT
$257.36 (-2.84%) $-7.53

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
332%
 
S&P 500 Returns
115%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 06/28/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.