That's exactly what Brazilian police are hoping to do with new eyeglasses equipped with stealthy crime-fighting properties. Dubbed "RoboCop" glasses after the 1987 action film, the glasses are fitted with a tiny camera that scans up to 400 faces per second. It cross-checks those images against a database of criminals and terrorists, and flashes a small red light inside the glasses if a match comes up. Then the officer knows whom to home in on and whom to leave alone.
On its optimal settings, the camera can scan 400 faces a second at a distance of up to 50 yards away. But the settings can be changed to recognize faces at a slower pace, at up to 12 miles away.
Agostini said the camera and database compare 46,000 biometric points on a person's face, so the chances of mistaken identity are slim.
"To the naked eye, two people may appear identical, but with 46,000 points compared, the data will not be beaten," he said.
In the original "RoboCop" film, actor Peter Weller played a fatally wounded Detroit police officer who comes back to life as half-man, half-robot. A remake of the film is due out in 2013, and Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp and Keanu Reeves are all rumored to be in the running for the lead role.
No word on whether they've had a chance to try the new glasses.