6W4U connected smartwatch: the officer’s sixth sense

From the quantified self to wearable computing, connected devices are playing an increasingly important role in our daily lives, often delivering real benefits for users. Co-created with operational police officers, the Thales smartwatch is a welcome addition to the array of high-tech products that law enforcement agencies now have at their disposal.

How to operate more effectively in the field and reduce risks at the same time? This is the key question that the Thales teams have been seeking to answer, working closely with law enforcement officers with direct operational experience.

Into the unknown

Every day as they perform their duties, whether stopping a vehicle or entering an unfamiliar building, police officers face an array of unknowns. By the very nature of police work, they often operate at some distance from their colleagues, commanders and support systems. Officers themselves have pointed to two key requirements — the need to be warned of danger and the ability to operate with greater discretion.

Thales has worked with field staff to develop an innovative smartwatch concept. Connected via a secure link to the command centre, the 6-Watch For You (6W4U) alerts officers to danger simply by vibrating when an important notification comes in. With an easy-to-read pictogram displayed on the watch face, a quick glance is all it takes to know what the threat is and where it's located. From a safe distance, officers can then use their smartphones to obtain more information and if necessary contact their command centre. The 6W4U is designed to be the officer’s sixth sense, alerting them discreetly to any potential risks.

Imagine a routine traffic operation, with officers carrying out random vehicle stops. When they pull over a vehicle, they have no idea who or what they will be dealing with. The officer’s smartwatch vibrates. A message notifies him that a stolen vehicle has been identified close by. Before stopping the vehicle, he is advised to proceed with caution: the driver may be armed and dangerous. The officer checks the description of the vehicle and, if necessary, calls for backup.

Discretion assured

Taking another example, officers on a patrol locate two wanted persons. Discreetly, they begin to shadow them. The two suspects separate. One enters a building, followed by an officer. In the poorly lit stairwell, the officer quickly taps his smartwatch, notifying command that he is in danger and needs assistance.

The 6W4U smartwatch is also a valuable asset for law enforcement officers working undercover, enabling them to take and upload pictures, record sounds or conversations, etc.

The 6W4U provides a smart link between members of a police patrol. With its built-in sensors and data transfer functions, it can provide command centres with audio, images and video feeds. And with its multiple notification modes for each mission and context (discreet, normal, detailed), it adapts to the needs of individual officers, helping them perform their missions more efficiently and more safely.


6W4U – Key features
  • Safe patrol concept: enhanced protection with SOS module for better interaction with patrols in the field
  • Connected and interactive with the command-and-control centre
        - Secure notification of events and alerts
  • Situational awareness at a glance
       - Textual information
       - Map display
       - Easy-to-read pictograms
  • Multiple modes for each mission and context: discreet / normal / detailed
  • Non-intrusive wearable device
  • Built-in sensors (camera, microphone, etc.) to contribute to the common operational picture