keep a better eye on its citizens. The latest advancement in that effort comes in the form of an inconspicuous dove drone that can fly and flap its wings just like other birds.ver been paranoid that someone is constantly watching you? Well, that paranoia is probably rather justified for anyone living in China, a country that continues to push the limits of technology in order to
Thirty military and government agencies have used these bird-like drones in five different provinces and regions in China over the past few years, according to a report published yesterday by the South China Morning Post. One of these regions was, of course, Xinjiang, which has been turned into perhaps the most heavily surveillanced area on earth, becoming a place where state-controlled companies can test out their latest observation innovations on a population suspected of harboring separatist sympathies.
This is not the first time that China, or any other country for that matter, has developed ornithological drone technology. However, these particular “doves” provide the highest potential yet for monitoring human activities while avoiding detection. Advanced software allows these little birdies to counter jerky movements and ensure a stable video feed, all while behaving similarly to their real world counterparts by flapping their wings and soaring through the sky. The drones movements are so convincing that radar researchers are apparently having to develop countermeasures in order to detect these types of devices.
These robo birds are being developed in a project aptly dubbed “Dove.” The project is far from yielding spy birds for large-scale, commercial use. According to Song Bifeng, the project’s leader, the “birds” are still unable to travel long distances and withstand harsh weather. In the future, Song told SCMP that he plans to integrate artificial intelligence, allowing the next generation of dove drones to fly together in complex formations while making independent decisions in the air.
While flocks of birds-turned-surveillance-cameras is likely not a future that most are pining for, it seems to be one that we are headed towards. Though China already has some 170 million CCTV cameras, it’s to install another 400 million or so in the next three years.These cameras will be able to match your ID card with your face and your face with your car, tracking your movements back one week, recording all of the people that you came into contact with.
The network is targeted at not only preventing crime, butpredicting it before it happens. Already, the power of China’s facial recognition technology has been on display, catching fugitives at Jacky Cheung concerts, ensuring that students don’t slack off in class, and making sure that no tries to take more their fair share of toilet paper.