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Dubai Police Force Gets Google Glass To Help Fight Crime

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Judge Dredd-esque look will give officers facial recognition software to identify criminals

Enforcing the law in Dubai is about to get a lot more high-tech following the news its police force will soon be equipped with Google Glass.

Police forces in the area will be given the wearable device, which costs £1,000 to buy in the UK, as part of a campaign to make them the “smartest in the world” by 2018. The devices will run specially customised facial recognition software which will allow officer to identify suspects or criminals at large.

The software would enable a connection between the wearer and a database of wanted people, with an alert being sent to the officer if a suspect’s face print is recognised.

However the device will initially be used by the force to combat traffic violations and track vehicles suspected of involvement in motoring offences.

dubai skyline ©Ashraf Jandali/shutterstockI am the law

“The software that we developed internally enables us to connect a database of wanted people with the glass,” Dubai police’s director general, Colonel Khalid Nasser Al Razooqi, told the Dubai-based news site 7DaysinDubai. “Once the glass recognizes the suspect based on a face print, it will give an alert to the officer wearing it.”

More details are set to be revealed by representatives from the police force at the GITEX Technology Week conference in Dubai on October 12.

The use of facial recognition with Google Glass is certain to raise concerns about privacy, following several recent controversies regarding the device. A number of users in the United States have suffered verbal and even physical abuse whilst wearing the device, with one cinema-goer even arrested by Homeland Security under suspicion of pirating content.

Even a recent pilot for welcome staff at Edinburgh Airport was attacked for potentially filming members of the public without their permission.

The Google Glass deployment is one of several spectacular new initiatives carried out by Dubai’s police recently. Last year the emirate announced it would be supplying its police with $400,000 Lamborghini sports cars for use at major tourist sites, with Dubai’s deputy police chief saying the vehicles “were in keeping with the Gulf capital’s image”.

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