Japan’s Hitachi Kokusai Electric has developed a surveillance system that can automatically detect a face in either a provided photo or video footage, then search for that same face in other video provided by networked cameras. While such facial recognition systems have been seen before, this one is able to compare the target face against others at an astounding rate of 36 million faces per second.

The Hitachi system assumes that all facial images it detects are at least 40 by 40 pixels in size, and that they are angled within 30 degrees of the camera, both vertically and horizontally.

It delivers search results immediately, in the form of a series of thumbnail images. When users click on any of those images, they are able to view recorded footage of what the person was doing, right before and after the displayed frame was shot.

Needless to say, it’s a lot more than might be required by some users – it’s intended mainly for large-scale applications such as railway stations, department stores and law enforcement agencies. The company plans to have it ready for clients by the next fiscal year.

More information is available in DigInfo’s report, below.