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Hi-Tech Gaitkeeping: Identifying Who You Are by the Way You Walk

Posted by Steven Kelley on Jan 16, 2019 1:00:00 PM
Steven Kelley
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Recently, I read an article in PC Magazine discussing the advancements in technology currently underway in China. The article, which also references an earlier story on police officers in the city of Zhengzhou using facial recognition glasses, reveals that China has perfected software that identifies individuals by their gait (i.e., how they walk). The system creates a model of the way a person walks as well as their body shape. Even with their face covered, their back turned and sporting a different strut, the system isn't fooled.

A Kinder, Gentler Big Brother

Initially upon reading, the concept of ‘big brother’ washed over me. My thought was of George Orwell’s dystopian novel, “Nineteen Eighty-Four” as depicted by Apple’s 1984 Super Bowl (XVIII) commercial announcing the launch the Macintosh computer. For those who haven’t seen it, click here. Then, I considered its implications from a public safety perspective. Imagine the hesitation of an assailant, bank robber or some other doer of evil, when he (or she) realizes they can be immediately identified, arrested and put away based on unique physical characteristics undetectable by humans. Wow, I feel safer already.

Although the technology is still being refined, the system is capable of identifying people 165 feet away with 94 percent accuracy and takes roughly 10 minutes to sift through an hour of video to identify the individuals in it. As with all technology, improvement is exponential, which means that soon a highly accurate system capable of identifying people by their walk will augment existing facial recognition systems currently in use. Given the growing security threat globally, the implications for personal security are huge and give new meaning to the adage, you can run, but you can’t hide. Greater public safety is on the horizon; the future looks bright.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), a signature outgrowth of digital transformation, is the technology behind China’s gait recognition system. Other next-gen technologies -analytics to analyze the data acquired through IoT sensors; stored in the cloud and transmitted using 5G communication protocols- have created the convergence necessary to allow AI, machine learning, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to become Our Reality (OR) as they become increasingly co-mingled into our everyday activities and experiences.

The Importance of Keeping Technically Relevant

The speed with which technology is changing is unprecedented, making the ability to stay current a tall order. Compounding the rapidity of change is the abstract and esoteric nature of technology itself. For business owners, ‘job one’ traditionally involves ensuring customers’ needs are met and revenues are strong; not anymore. The opportunity cost of a laggard IT infrastructure can create competitiveness gaps and open the door for competitors to exploit a business’ inefficiencies. Technology change is no longer  incremental; nor are its implications.

Digital transformation represents an order of magnitude change for businesses; one of which business operators must stay apprised or risk becoming inefficient, uncompetitive and ultimately, out of business. The disruptive personas of emerging, next-generation technologies and how they will impact operations must be understood. ‘Job one’ must also include the business’ systems. It’s imperative for business owners/operators to know their options. If you need help discovering or identifying your options, Tech Data can help.

With operations and partner networks throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific regions, Tech Data represents every major technology vendor on virtually every continent. By connecting the world with the power of technology, we help customers understand their technology options so they can decide on the proper solution for their businesses. To find out how we can help you, visit us online at techdata.com.

About the Author

Steven Kelley is a senior marketing specialist for Tech Data in Tempe, Arizona. In his role, Steve manages the corporate blog, Authority, along with the company’s partner newsletter, The Power of Partnership. Prior to joining Tech Data, Steve managed the marketing, communication and PR duties for a range of businesses in the aviation, defense, energy, hi-tech, and healthcare industries.

Tags: Digital Transformation, Machine Learning, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, Next-Generation Technology, AR, Recognition Technology, Gait Recognition