March 23, 2012 at 1:06 PM ET
Note to robbers: Wear your ski mask.
The system detects a face from a regular photo or a surveillancevideo -- such as those made on six pack pick-ups at the corner convenience store -- and searches for it.
Search results appear instantaneously. Select a thumbnailimage and the system will show its associated context in a surveillance video. Notthe person who pilfered the chewing gum? Go to the next candidate.
"The high speed is achieved by detecting faces through imagerecognition when the footage from the camera is recorded and also by groupingsimilar faces," a company representative told DigInfo.
To work, faces must be turned with 30 degrees of the camera and be 40 by 40pixels in size.
Hitachi Kokusai Electric expects the technology to beattractive to companies with relative large surveillance systems, such asrailroads, big box stores, and law enforcement agencies.
The system should be available for purchase in fiscal year2013.
-- Via DigInfo,Gizmodo,and The Verge
John Roach is acontributing writer for msnbc.com. To learn more about him, check out his website and follow him on Twitter. For more of our Future of Technology series, watch the featured videobelow.