|Big Brother just got scarier: Japanese CCTV camera
can scan 36 million faces per second - and recognise anyone who has walked
into its gaze
Mail | March 23, 2012
A new camera technology from Hitachi Hokusai Electric can scan days of camera footage instantly, and find any face which has EVER walked past it.
Its makers boast that it can scan 36 million faces per second.
The technology raises the spectre of governments - or other organisations - being able to 'find' anyone instantly simply using a passport photo or a Facebook profile.
The 'trick' is that the camera 'processes' faces as it records, so that all faces which pass in front of it are recorded and stored instantly.
Faces are stored as a searchable 'biometric' record, storing the unique
When the police - or anyone else - want to search for a particular individual, they're searching through a gallery of pre-indexed faces, rather than a messy library of footage.
'We think this system is suitable for customers that have a relatively large-scale surveillance system, such as railways, power companies, law enforcement, and large stores,' says the company.
The company aims to make the system available within the next tax year, according to a report in DigInfo.
The system does have limitations - it can only scan faces within a certain field of view in front of the camera, and faces have to be at least 40x40 pixels in size to be indexed by the system.