Thinking Tech

Video: "Robocop" glasses can identify outlaws

Video: "Robocop" glasses can identify outlaws

Posting in Technology

Police officers will soon be equipped with a technology that enables them to better identify fugitives and criminals.

Police officers in Brazil will soon be equipped with a technology that enables them to better identify fugitives and criminals.

Dubbed "RoboCop" glasses, the high-tech eyewear uses a built-in camera placed over the lens to accurately scan faces in virtually any setting, even large crowds. The visual information is instantly transmitted to a computer database where it's cross-checked with mugshots and other images of criminals kept on file. If there's a positive identification, it immediately displays the person's photo, birth date, criminal record, and other vital information the officer may need to apprehend the suspect.

While facial recognition systems aren't perfect, this particular software is capable of analyzing as many as 46,000 points on a person's face. Military Police officials believe this high degree of sophistication substantially reduces the likelihood of an error.

"To the naked eye two people may appear identical but with 46,000 points compared, the data will not be beaten," Major Leandro Pavani Agostini of Sao Paulo's Military Police told the The Daily Telegraph.

The camera can scan up to 400 faces a second as long as the people are within 164 feet of the police officer. The settings can also be adjusted to scan faces further away -- up to 12 miles -- by slowing down the scanning rate.

Officials have enough confidence in the technology that Military Police units in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro will practice using them at upcoming events like soccer games and concerts. But the first real test will be when the devices are distributed in preparation for the World Cup to be held in 2014.

If you want to see just how sci-fi the technology is, here's a TV report that demonstrates how it works (Please excuse the lack of language translation as well as cheesy movie references):

(via The Daily Telegraph)

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Tuan Nguyen

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Tuan C. Nguyen is a freelance science journalist based in New York City. He has written for the U.S. News and World Report, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News, AOL, Yahoo! News and LiveScience. Formerly, he was reporter and producer for the technology section of ABCNews.com. He holds degrees from the University of California Los Angeles and the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure