When Google Glass was released, it was met with a lot of resistance by the public who were concerned about potentially being recorded all the time, which we guess is a valid concern. It seems those fears have come true because over in China, police are now wearing smart glasses that come with facial recognition tech.
In a report from The Wall Street Journal (via Gizmodo), police in China have been given smart glasses that are being used to spot fugitives traveling through train stations. While the police claim that the technology is being used to locate criminals and those using fake IDs, there are concerns that the tech could also be used to target opposition politicians or minorities.
It is unclear how the tech works since there are no demonstrations of it, but from what is being described it sounds like it works pretty fast. All the wearer has to do is look at a person, from which the camera will then take a measurement of that person’s face and compares it to a database of individuals, and all of this is done in a matter of seconds.
An interesting and slightly disturbing point has been brought up, where now simply being looked at is constituted as both a search and identification process, meaning that even if you are not a criminal and haven’t done anything wrong, there’s no stopping the system from scanning you anyway. Of course the upside is efficiency, where in critical situations, being able to scan the IDs of hundreds of people in minutes versus hours will no doubt help speed things along.