Facial Recognition “Glasses” Could Stop Crime Before it Happens
Remember the 2002 Tom Cruise movie "Minority Report?" It' not quite there, but close.
In what privacy critics are calling a potentially scary scenario, police within the next few years could be using 3-D glasses that use the Google Glasses type of platform to spot criminals.
The Google Glasses stream the internet to a tiny screen seen only by the wearer. In this version, the glasses would be equipped with facial recognition technology. Someone wearing them could be scanning everyone in a crowd. If a criminal suspect is present, a police officer could receive a warning that a positive match has been made, and arrest the suspect before they commit another crime.
University of California researcher Alan Yang is working on the 3-D glasses, using technology from the Google Glasses. They will also have a vastly improved facial recognition technology that will be far ahead of what's currently being used. According to San Francisco's CBSlocal.com:
'One of its goals is for use by law enforcement. For example, police wearing the glasses could scan a crowd and possibly locate a suspect or a lost child.
This technology could have helped police find the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing sooner. Although police had images of the suspects, it took investigators days to identify them. Current facial recognition programs were limited in identifying the low resolution images of the suspects from surveillance cameras."
The 3-D glasses with simple user applications (such as displaying daily calendars, household information etc) will be available in a few months. Yang says the police facial recognition program probably within two years.
Critics say giving authorities the ability to scan everyone in a room or crowd is an invasion of privacy. They ask: "How would you feel knowing everywhere you go, you're being digitally monitored and 'recognized'?"