Facial recognition is a deeply flawed technology that’s so far proven to be inaccurate and race/gender biased. Cities like San Francisco even outright banned the technology because of the dangers it presents. However, some creepy tech dudes thought it’d be a good idea to attach facial recognition to some nondescript looking sunglasses.

Mass surveillance on the go

The glasses themselves look like something you’d see at gas stations but they’re equipped with facial recognition technology from a Dubai-based firm called NNTC. Take a look at the gif below demo-ing how the glasses would work in real-world situations.

NNTC is obviously embracing creepiness to the max. The tech is creepy in the first place but showcasing it with a dude with a murse on is kinda taking it to the next level. Very on-brand, tho.

NNTC claims the glasses can:

  • scan faces in a crowd and compare with a database of 1M images
  • simultaneously detect up to 15 faces per frame per second
  • identify an individual in less than a second

Spooky, right? What’s scarier is the way NNTC is openly promoting problematic use cases to target buyers, who happened to be law enforcement officials and governments. The company says the glasses can be used in tasks such as “public surveillance,” “preventing terrorism,” and “monitoring immigrants”. The pitch kinda reads like it’s a tailored marketing message for the Trump administration.

Emotion detection – what could possibly go wrong?

NNTC also claims, perhaps this is the spookiest part, that the glasses can scan people’s faces and detect and analyze their emotions.

Let’s suppose you’re a non-white woman (the most vulnerable group against facial recognition bias) who happens to resemble a wanted person, and during the moment you were passing by a cop wearing NNTC glasses, you felt uneasy in your stomach and cringed. In the cop’s eyes through the glasses, tho, your face was inaccurately matched with the wanted person and your expression was detected as aggression – leading the cop to falsely arrest you.

That’s not a Black Mirror episode – that could now very much happen in real life, thanks to NNTC shades.

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