Taser Is a Camera Company Now, Because Cameras Don’t Hurt People (Yet)


Taser ($TASR) makes “conducted electrical weapons,” or Tasers. Millions of police officers around the world use these non-lethal weapons to deter crime, and they’re partially responsible for an alleged decrease in fatalities, depending on who you ask. They’re compact, they’re powerful, and they stop criminals with a strong electric shock.

Unfortunately for Taser, most people who want a Taser probably own one by now. Though Tasers will always be in demand, the company must sell more than its namesake to stay afloat. They also need to keep making profits to make shareholders happy.

That’s why Taser recently entered the body camera market. Making more products for police departments is a no-brainer, especially when Tasers are such a big hit. Yet the company’s camera, Axon, is nowhere near as popular as its electrifying big brother. That’s why Taser is taking some drastic steps to get people talking about Axon.

Taser is no longer Taser, but Axon.

Instead of naming themselves after their non-lethal weapon, the company will take the namesake of their camera. This helps them with better brand awareness and puts their body cameras in the spotlight. It’s Taser’s way of telling the world they don’t just make electrifying weapons that hurt people.

Taser really wants cops to use the Axon.

Axon isn’t the only body camera in existence. In fact, there are more popular body cameras in use. That’s why Axon will let any law enforcement agency use their cameras free for a year. In addition to using the cameras, agencies and departments also gain access to the company’s cloud-based video storage site, the appropriately named Evidence.com. This lets officers and other officials access the videos taken by Axon cameras.

Police departments are adopting body cameras at a growing rate.

Axon notably lost out on a contract with the NYPD to supply New York’s finest with body cameras. After suffering this loss — and seeing their stock take a dip — the company decided to give NYPD and other high-profile agencies a year-long trial. Axon may be giving away their product for free, but if cops enjoy using the Axon, they could end up buying them wholesale. This would mean millions of dollars for Axon and a boost to their bottom line.

Should you invest in Axon?

Axon is making a risky bet on police departments. If they’re taken up on their year-long trial and people become customers, then shareholders will likely think positively about the company’s future. If law enforcement officials still opt to go with other companies for body cameras, Axon will have to scramble to find a new way to sell their devices.

If you think this bet will work in the end and Axon gets new orders for Axon devices, be sure to do your research before you decide to invest. If you don’t think it’s worth the risk or Axon’s bet won’t pay off, you might want to invest elsewhere.

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