Analysts are cautious about the potential profits, saying that largely depends on Microsoft's sales efforts and whether any major competition arises. While there other data-drilling products made by other companies, they say the NYPD's involvement could set the dashboard apart.
"This is the kind of stuff you used to only see in movies," said analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group, a technology analysis firm. "Getting it to work in a way that police departments can use in real time is huge."
The venture began in 2009 when the NYPD approached Microsoft about building software to help mine data for the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, a network of private and public cameras and other tools monitored by the department's counterterrorism bureau. Development cost the department between $30 million and $40 million, officials said.
"Usually, you purchase software that you try to work with, but we wanted this to be something that really worked well for us, so we set about creating it with them," said Richard Daddario, the NYPD's deputy commissioner for counterterrorism.Officers were involved throughout the process with the programmers, offering advice on what they need during an emergency. "It was created by cops for cops," Tisch said. "We thought a lot about what information we want up close and personal, and what needs to be a click away. It's all baked in there." The system uses hundreds of thousands of pieces of information. Security camera footage can be rewound five minutes so that officers can see suspects who may have fled. Sensors pick up whether a bag has been left sitting for a while. When an emergency call comes in, officers can check prior 911 calls from that address to see what they might be up against. Prospective clients can customize it to fit their organization. Dave Mosher, a Microsoft vice president in charge of program management, said the company started to market the system in August and is looking at smaller municipalities, law enforcement agencies and companies that handle major sporting events.