Facial recognition being used to develop surveillance footage isn’t a new idea, Scotland Yard began using this technique as a result of last year’s London riots, but a new system developed by Hitachi Kokusai Electric could make this process quicker and a lot more flexible than before. Revealed at this year’s Security Show expo in Japan, the system processes footage from still images as well live footage, recognizing faces in real-time, and can go through nearly 36 million different faces to find a match. Recognized faces are shown on thumbnails and grouped with matching footage, letting the operator look at all of the actions of a given person instantly.

To accomplish this speed, the system performs the facial recognition portion of the process at the same time the footage is being recorded by the cameras, instead of waiting to develop the imagery after the fact. With that said, there are some limitations, The system only works with faces turned within 30 degrees of the camera either horizontally or vertically, and also, faces must be at least 40 pixels in height and width for the system to work effectively. The company plans to sell the system in its next fiscal year.