In a world where security is being increased constantly, it’s no surprise that this week we saw police in Beijing wearing high-tech sunglasses.
These clever, high-tech sunglasses not only shield police from the sun, they help spot suspects in overly crowded areas. The new glasses feature facial recognition technology which enables the camera to identify suspects in minutes utilising police databases.
Unfortunately, the incredible advances in technology come with some drawbacks; the sunglasses have already raised concern among human rights groups and activists. Although the same can be said for all CCTV, the glasses are capturing and storing images of the public without permission.
The high-tech glasses are being trialled in the city of Zhengzhou this week; the aim is to keep travellers safe while they head home for Chinese New Year. The glasses are being tested over one of the busiest weekends for public transport to see how they cope.
As it stands, the glasses are proving highly successful. Since their implementation, they have enabled police to detain 7 suspects accused of a range of crimes; they include human trafficking and hit and runs. Alongside major crimes, they have managed to catch 26 people using fake ID’s; proving technological advances can be highly beneficial to law enforcement.
This new addition to China’s security system is just one in a scheme of projects to build a digital surveillance system which uses a variety of biometric data. The aim is to utilise a database of images, fingerprints and more to keep people safe.
It’s not just the security sector which is getting excited about this new high-tech movement. Commercial establishments including gyms, restaurants and public toilets are all adapting technology to include facial recognition.
As ever, China is miles ahead of the UK with technology. However, in the UK people like their privacy, with this kind of documentation of identity, there would be strong resistance from the general public. With that in mind, we’re pretty sure there’s not much chance we’ll see this kind of device on the UK police in the near future. While we may not see them on our police, we may see more commercial devices hitting the market in the next few years.
It wasn’t long ago we were all getting ready to buy Google glasses, however, they didn’t take off in the way everybody expected.
For now, we’re comfortable with Apple face recognition and accessing our phones with our fingerprints; but who knows what the future will bring!