A Japanese firm claims its new facial recognition technology can scan 36 million faces a second. (At that rate it could scan every adult in Japan in three seconds.) It then presents a couple of dozen likely matching thumbnails to a surveillance camera operator, who clicks on one to see the video footage.

It works by starting the facial recognition process while surveillance footage is still being recorded. Faces must be seen by the camera within an angle of 30 degrees horizontally or vertically and be at least 40 pixels in height and width. Those are not serious restrictions. The system will be launched next year from Hitachi Kokusai Electric.

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