This sounds more like the dystopian sci-fi movie, “Black Mirror,” but it is real. Chinese police officers are using hi-tech sunglasses fitted with facial recognition cameras to spot suspects in a crowded place.
According to People’s Daily report, police officers in Zhengzhou city using the facial recognition sunglasses have so far arrested seven suspects, most of them accused of human trafficking and hit and run crimes and are in custody. Moreover, 26 others who were using fake identification cards nabbed at the Zhengzhou train station are in the police cells.
How The Facial Recognition Sunglasses Work
The sunglasses have a camera fixed on them and attached to a gadget that looks like a smartphone with a widescreen display. The camera allows the officer to take photos of a suspicious person and sends them to the smartphone-like device.
The pictures are then wired to the police headquarters and compared with the database stored there.
In case the pictures taken of the suspect match the database back at the headquarters, the whole information including the suspect’s full name, sex, ethnicity and physical address shows up on the officer’s gadget. It also shows the suspect’s online information together with the activities he/she does on the internet.
Also, the pictures captured by the sunglasses display the suspect’s criminal records and whether they are on the run from the law of a particular country. Additionally, it shows where they are staying, including the hotel address and room number.
At the beginning of this year, China South Airline stopped using boarding passes and replaced them with the facial recognition machines.
Chinese banks have shown interest in this program too. They have started using facial recognition machines to allow clients pay using their faces in place of ATM cards. Experts say that China is slowly overtaking the West regarding facial scanning devices.
However, some organizations including human rights and privacy advocates are fiercely criticizing the sunglass technology due to human abuse.