Chinese 'gait recognition' tech IDs people by how they walk

5
Chinese 'gait recognition' tech IDs people by how they walk
In this Oct. 31, 2018, photo, Huang Yongzhen, CEO of Watrix, demonstrates the use of his firm's gait recognition software at his company's offices in Beijing. A Chinese technology startup hopes to begin selling software that recognizes people by their body shape and how they walk, enabling identification when faces are hidden from cameras. Already used by police on the streets of Beijing and Shanghai, “gait recognition” is part of a major push to develop artificial-intelligence and data-driven surveillance across China, raising concern about how far the technology will go. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese technology startup has begun selling software that recognizes people by their body shape and how they walk, enabling identification when faces are hidden from cameras.

Already used on the streets of Beijing and Shanghai, “gait recognition” is part of a push to develop artificial-intelligence and data-driven surveillance across China.

Huang Yongzhen, the CEO of Watrix, said its system can identify people from up to 50 meters (165 feet) away, even with their backs turned or faces covered. This can fill a gap in facial recognition, which needs close-up, high-resolution views of a person’s face to work.

Chinese police also use facial recognition to identify people in crowds and nab jaywalkers. Not everyone is comfortable with such surveillance.