China Is Now Giving Beijing Police Smart Glasses With Face Recognition To Nab Criminals

By on March 14, 2018

Last month, we wrote about a pilot project being carried out by the Chinese police in the Zhengzhou province. The force was outfitting police officers with special smart glasses, using facial recognition to catch criminals with warrants and people with false identities hiding among passengers at railway stations during the festive season.

Now, it seems the test has been pretty successful, judging by the fact the pilot is being expanded to the outskirts of Beijing as well, according to Reuters. Recently, the program was used as an added security measure while the Parliament voted to extend Xi Jinping’s presidency to a lifetime rule.

Police used the sunglasses to check travelers’ faces against their IDs, as well as car registration plates on the government blacklist, before Parliament’s annual meeting this past weekend. The smart glasses allow cops to easily ensure the list of people not allowed to enter the meeting are kept at bay. That includes criminals, journalists, political dissidents, and human rights activists.

The technology itself is exciting. By February 8, the police at train stations in Zhengzhou supposedly caught seven suspects in ongoing investigations and 23 people travelling under false identities. However, the application is certainly worrisome, particularly when you consider China’s history with censorship and surveillance.

Each of the smart sunglasses is controlled by a mobile unit and costs approximately Rs 41,330, with additional costs for the facial recognition support.

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