BEIJING, March 13 — A security push in China is bringing reality closer to science fiction.
In this mock-up, a policeman on patrol in China wearing smart glasses can immediately recognise a suspicious passerby who must now stop for identification.
Using artificial intelligence the glasses can scan details like car number plates or facial features, matching them in real time with a centralised ‘blacklist.’
They represent a new era of surveillance in China, and a major push by its leaders to boost security using the latest tech.
But for many watching on: That’s a scary prospect.
Concerns are growing that China is developing a sophisticated surveillance state and what that could mean for the privacy of those living in it
President Xi Jinping’s rise to power has been characterised by a major crackdown on corruption and dissent
On Sunday, China abolished presidential term limits meaning he could continue the drive unchallenged for a generation.
The big worry is: Who’s on this blacklist?
In theory it’s those with criminal records.
But it could also include a wide range of people — from lawyers and artists to journalists and charity workers.
The AI glasses are now being trialed by police across the country but it doesn’t stop there
More so called ‘black tech’ is being rolled out: Drones to monitor border areas, dogs fitted cameras that feed back into VR headsets, systems to track and censor behaviour online and scanners that can forcibly read data from your smart phone.