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China says it has new surveillance camera technology that can recognise you just from how you walk

Watrix employees demonstrate their firm's gait recognition software at their company's offices in Beijing. AP Chinese authorities in Beijing and Shanghai say they can now identify people just by their walking style and silhouette. "Gait recognition" technology has already been rolled out, and is an improvement over facial recognition, the Associated Press reported. The software, Watrix, works by scanning a person and creating a model stored on a database. "It can't be fooled by simply limping, walking with splayed feet or hunching over," Watrix CEO Huang Yongzhen said. The software can identify people from 50 meters away, even with their backs turned or faces covered, he said. China has rolled out surveillance software in Beijing and Shanghai which authorities say can identify people from their walking style, even with their backs turned and faces hidden. The CEO of Watrix, the company behind the technology, says it will fix problems with facial recognition software, which relies on close-up, high-quality images to match people, the Associated Press reported. The software takes a digital model of a person's silhouette and walking style from surveillance video and then creates a 3D model of a person's style and stance. It identifies step length, stride length, cadence, speed, dynamic base, progression line, foot angle, hip angle, and squat performance, The Asia Times reported . Security footage is then fed through the software and it will match people's walks to the database, Watrix CEO Huang Yongzhen said to AP on Wednesday. Watrix employees demonstrate their firm's gait recognition software at their company's offices in Beijing, October 31, 2018. AP In practice, the software takes 10 minutes to search through one hour of surveillance video and make a connection. Huang told AP that his software can identify people from up to 50 meters (165 feet) away, and is 94% accurate. Huang said: "You don't need people's cooperation for us to be able to recognize their identity. Gait analysis can't be fooled by simply limping, walking with splayed feet or hunching over, because we're analyzing all the features of an entire body." Huang also told the state-controlled People's Daily newspaper: "A suspect may never be aware that he has been tracked by the system until he is hunted down," The Asia Times reported. Read more: China's 'Big Brother' surveillance technology isn't nearly as all-seeing as the government wants you to think. China's government is also collecting voice samples from Chinese citizens so they can identify people through their speech, Human Rights Watch reported in 2017 . The report says that Chinese police took 70,000 voice samples from Anhui Province residents in eastern China, where trials were taking place. China has been increasing surveillance efforts in the Xinjiang region as part of the continued crack down on the Uighur Muslims population , many of whom have been sent to re-education camps . Huang thinks that gait recognition can be used for other things too, like spotting elderly people who have fallen down in the street.