According to The Next Web, The United States army is developing new technology that will allow soldiers to identify people through thermal imaging cameras. This development comes in the wake of Apple’s new facial recognition feature, in which users can unlock the iPhone X with a simple look. Many people have been thoroughly disturbed by a phone’s ability to unlock by locking eyes, but, as usual, the line for the iPhone X was around the building on the release day and thus resumes Apple’s violent charge into the unlimited technological frontier.
If you’re wary about your phone being able to detect the birthmark next to your right eye, you could always hang back a few generations of smartphones, but it will only delay the inevitable. When Apple comes out with revolutionary technology like this, it’s a promise that similar developments will soon be integrated into other aspects of our lives. The US Army’s version of facial recognition will allow soldiers to detect people through walls even when it’s almost pitch black and can then recognize the people in the images. The AI can compare the thermal images with any image in the US government’s database, allowing it to match the new thermal image with a more conventionally visible image of a person of interest.
This kind of detection technology has already been utilized in the military, with the Apache helicopter and many Armed Personnel Carriers already equipped with cameras capable of thermal imaging to help detect people in low-visibility situations. But this new camera will advance this ability by allowing soldiers to see through barriers, and its main application will be in identifying enemy VIPs or individuals on government watch lists.
The concern with rapidly-developing facial recognition, as with any revolutionary technology, is that it could be used against private citizens. Facial recognition could advance military efficiency by growing POI image databases and allowing soldiers to detect enemies faster and more often than they ever have, but a growing gallery of images and ability to further surveil people without their knowledge could put private citizens at a disadvantage when it comes to privacy.