The Chinese Police have added a new weapon in their surveillance arms stockpile: Shades with built-in facial recognition. This is used to potentially identify criminals and wipe out any blind sides of crimes. According to Communist Party’s Official Newspaper People’s Daily, these glasses are being tested at the railway stations of Zhengzhou to scan the travellers during the upcoming Lunar New Year migration: This is a period of extremely busy holiday travel often regarded as the Largest Human Migration Event on Earth.
Currently, these special glasses are used by four officers who are patrolling a crowded railway station in Zhengzhou. This railway station is the first to adopt the facial recognition glasses for identification. Almost 4 million people will be travelling through here throughout the Lunar New Year migration. An expected 389 million train trips are likely to be made between the period of February 1 and March 12. Since the beginning of the Lunar New Year migration, the police have arrested 33 suspects out of which 7 suspects are wanted in major criminal cases and the other 26 individuals travelling using false identities with the help of these high-tech sunglasses.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, these sunglasses were developed by Beijing-based LLVision Technology Co. The company’s chief executive Wu Fei told that they worked with the local police in order to develop a suitable technology that satisfies their needs.
These glasses which resemble the Google Glass, are connected to the police database that matches the passengers with criminal suspects. Reportedly, these glasses have a small camera attached to a smartphone-like gadget enabling the police to capture images of suspicious individuals and get it verified in the database. Using this technology, the database will be able to provide the individual’s name, gender, address, criminal records and ethnicity. All this information is collected and transferred back to the police officer’s sunglasses. These glasses also inform the police about where the suspect lives, the hotel’s address and even their Internet history. It is reported that the company has a capacity of matching faces in the database of 10,000 suspects in just 100 milliseconds.
This facial recognition software, however, can’t run on CCTV cameras because, by the time the target is identified, the person might already have moved on, resulting in a blurry picture. These glasses give an advantage to the police “the ability to check anywhere”, says Wu. He further adds that “By making wearable glasses, with AI on the front end, you get instant and accurate feedback. You can decide right away what the next interaction is going to be.”
In the recent years, China has been investing huge amounts into various tracking technologies developing the artificial intelligence to track and identify the individuals. It is estimated that China will have more than 600 million CCTV cameras by the end of 2020. The Chinese startups would be providing these CCTV cameras with advanced features like gait recognition. Chinese Government claims that this technology potentially helps to decrease the crime rate and improve public safety.
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