Dubai detectives set to utilize Google Glass

Oct 02, 2014, 7:12 AM EDT
A visitor wears Google Glass as he arrives for the German premiere of the film 'Sex Tape' at CineStar on September 5, 2014 in Berlin, Germany.
AFP/Getty Images

Dubai police plan to issue detectives with Google Glass hands-free eyewear to help them fight crime using facial recognition technology, a police spokesman in the wealthy Gulf Arab emirate said. Reuters writes:

The wearable device consists of a tiny computer screen mounted in the corner of an eyeglass frame and is capable of taking photos, recording video and playing sound.

The spokesman confirmed a report in Dubai's 7 Days newspaper that software developed by Dubai police would enable a connection between the wearer and a database of wanted people.

Once the device "recognized" a suspect based on a face print, it would alert the officer wearing the gadget.

The gadget would be used in a first phase to combat traffic violations and track vehicles suspected of involvement in motoring offences. A second phase would see the technology rolled out to detectives, the spokesman said.

The U.S. Internet company said in a blogpost in May that anyone in the United States could buy the gadget for $1,500.

Welcome staff at Edinburgh Airport are using Google Glass headsets to provide flight information, answer queries or translate foreign languages for travellers, but a privacy watchdog fears the devices could be hacked or used inappropriately. The Daily Mail writes:

Launched this week, the three-month pilot project offers a glimpse into the future of customer service at airports as management teams take advantage of new forms of technology.

Edinburgh Airport is the first in the UK to use Google Glass, which is similar to a pair of spectacles and is equipped with an optical display. The hands-free device displays digital information and allows users to access the internet or apps using voice commands or snap photos with just a wink.

Until the end of the year, Edinburgh Airport’s welcome team, Blackjack, will be using the headsets to assist passengers with questions about their flights, the airport, the city itself or other topics.

But privacy watchdog Big Brother Group is raising concerns about the use of Google Glass in airports, saying Edinburgh Airport management should think ‘very carefully’ about whether the device is appropriate.

Emma Carr, the organisation’s director, told the Edinburgh Evening News: ‘The danger with Google Glass is that the camera is seeing what you see, all the time, while the microphone allows nearby conversations to be eavesdropped on.

‘It is impossible to guarantee against these devices being hacked, so it is surprising that this technology is allowed anywhere like an airport or government buildings.’