New Japanese Facial Recognition Software Is Powerful, Scary

    March 23, 2012

Big brother alert!!! For those of you who don’t like the idea of CCTV monitoring your every move, the details a recent software breakthrough by Hitachi Kokusai Electric will probably make you soil your undergarments, or at least never leave the house without a mask. How does the idea of facial recognition software that can scan 36 million faces in one second sound? How about not only can the software scan that many different faces in such little time, but being able to actively index them as well?

Scared yet?

As pointed out by, the applications for such software are naturally aimed at surveillance programs, ones that monitor a large number of people at a given time. Think sporting events, shopping malls, and public transportation hubs. Leading the article is a video that details the software, and shows the various applications its capable of. Let’s just say recognizing and storing these faces is only the beginning.

Scanned faces can then be searched for in other footage, allowing the watchers to monitor the selected person’s activity, provided there’s additional footage of them available. GeekOSystem’s take on the application of such software is even more revealing:

Once you have a face identified with the system, you can click the thumbnail and receive a wealth of search results, including every other clip the identified individual is in. This allows you to pick out someone sketchy in one scene and immediately see where they were before and after, plus it also allows you to upload a suitable photo and then use the system to see if the person is, or isn’t, in the area. That is, so long as they’ve glanced towards a camera.

This sounds like something the British Government would wholly embrace.