Chinese police are using dark sunglasses equipped with facial recognition technology to spot criminal suspects.
The glasses, which are being worn by police at a busy train station ahead of the Chinese New Year travel rush, are linked to a central database which contains details of criminal records.
Wearing the technology, police can almost instantly view an individual’s personal details, including name, ethnicity, gender and address.
Police at the Zhengzhou East Railway Station have arrested seven people who were suspected of being involved in kidnapping and hit-and-run cases during an operation which began last week, media reported.
They have also held another 26 people who were using fake identification cards.
Pictures of the operation, which were published online by the web version of China’s People’s Daily newspaper, show a female police officer wearing dark black sunglasses which have a small camera attached on the right-hand lens.
The camera is connected by an electronic lead to a hand-held device.
The device has an app where police officers can process images they have taken of suspicious individuals.
“The facial information captured by the glasses will be sent back to a database for comparison with the information of suspects on the wanted list,” Zhang Xiaolei, a local police official told the Global Times newspaper.
The app allows access to the database that also provides information on whether the suspect is on the run from police, and even their recent Internet history.
The scene would not look out of place in an episode of science fiction television drama Black Mirror, which often depicts dark scenarios of humans being overcome by technology.
China is deploying new technologies to monitor people in ways that would unnerve many in the West.
Facial recognition has been rolled out in many aspects of every day life in the country, where there are few concerns over privacy.
The technology is being used to gain entry to university dormitories and workplaces, withdraw cash from ATM machines and even buy a KFC.