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It’s no secret that China is a big fan of facial recognition technology, but the system has its limitations, especially if people know to hide their faces. That’s where AI startup Watrix comes in. Rather than identifying someone by their features, its software uses gait recognition technology.
It’s easy to imagine that changing walking styles or adding a limp would be enough to fool the system, but Huang says it isn’t that easy. “Covering your legs would reduce the recognition score but we analyze all of a person’s body [when evaluating walking style],” he explained.
The technology can identify people from 165 feet away with up to 94 percent accuracy. Watrix is in talks with a number of potential customers from around the world about its software, which it says can be combined with its facial recognition technology to improve results.
China doesn’t have the best record when it comes to respecting the privacy of its citizens, of course. The number of CCTV cameras are expected to increase to 400 million across the next couple of years, many of which feature some form of AI, including facial recognition. The country’s police have tested glasses with the technology embedded, and it’s even been used in schools to analyze students’ emotions. When it comes to jaywalking, however, facial recognition doesn’t always get it right.