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Chinese Police Goes Hi-tech, Gets Facial Recognition Sunglasses to Nab Suspects

BEIJING, 11 FEB. In the crackdown on crime and dissent, Chinese Police have been provided with sunglasses that come complete with facialrecognition features capable of picking a suspect out from a crowd. The facial recognition software is equipped with powerful advanced optics and networking to pinpoint potential suspects - even in crowded subways and shopping malls.

The glasses feed a constant stream of images back to a processor attached to the officer’s uniform webbing. It captures faces as they turn towards the camera, applying a standardised set of measurements to each face before comparing it with a portable database in much the same way fingerprints are assessed, the reports said.

According to the China News Service, the glasses have already been successfully trialled by four officers on Zhengzhou city’s East Railway during the Chinese New Year celebrations. The sunglasses with built-in facial recognition capabilities have come as a big help to the law enforcement agencies in China for monitoring dissent and overall surveillance.

The sunglasses have been built by Beijing-based LLVision Technology Co. Wu Fei, the company’s chief executive, had said that LLVision has worked with local police to develop the technology to suit their needs.

People's Daily, China's official state newspaper, also claimed that since the beginning of the Lunar New Year, the police at Zhengzhou East Railway Station have caught at least seven fugitives in connection with major criminal cases and identified 26 people attempting to travel using other people’s IDs. The Zhengzhou East Railway Station is the first to adopt facial recognition glasses for ID verification. The station, one of the busiest in China, has its own police force. In fact, almost four million people will travel through there throughout the Lunar New Year holiday.

China has recently invested hundreds of billions of dollars into developing various advanced tracking technologies, building artificial intelligence to identify individuals and digitally tail them around cities. According to one estimate, China will possibly have more than 600 million CCTV cameras by 2020, with Chinese tech startups outfitting them with advanced features like gait recognition.

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