Chinese people in crowd

Chinese Scientists Develop Camera That Can Capture Thousands of Faces in 'Perfect Detail'

The new system may advance the country’s widespread use of surveillance technology in public spaces.

Chinese researchers have developed a camera system capable of capturing thousands of faces in a stadium in perfect detail and send that facial data to the cloud, according to a report from the China News Service


The AI-enabling 500-megapixel cloud system aims to allow operators to locate a particular person in an instant through taking panoramic photos. The scientists at Fudan University in Shanghai and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Changchun say the resolution of the system is five times the 120-million pixel resolution of the human eye. 


In addition, the report found that the system could detect and identify faces or other objects based on its massive data collection in order to find targets. That outcome is possible if the system works in tandem with AI, facial recognition tech, real-time monitoring and cloud computing technology. 


People around the world would be able to log into the cloud data center to access the tool, according to Zeng Xiaoyang, one of the scientists who developed the system. He said it is designed for public security purposes in order to monitor crowds in real time, according to The Global Times. 


Security experts in China expressed excitement at the potential military and public security implementations the system could have. China is already one of the most widely surveilled countries in the world thanks to widespread video surveillance systems deployed by the government.


Even Zeng, the scientist who helped to develop the system, said that the camera provoked privacy concerns. He said laws and regulations should be put in place to “standardize” the application of the camera, according to The Global Times. 


But critics say that the country is moving ahead with surveillance technology in ways that limit its people’s freedoms, and they don’t see it slowing down now. 


“China is aggressively restricting people's freedom of movement within the country. CCTV cameras and face recognition have a big role to play in that," Paul Bischoff, the editor of Comparitech, told the South China Morning Post after his publication released a report on the world’s most surveilled cities.

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