Privacy SOS

Is this helmet-mounted augmented reality gear coming to a police department near you?

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Military industrial complex contractor BAE systems has produced a fancy video to advertise a wearable technology it's calling 'Q-Warrior', something akin to the Google Glass of the battlespace. According to Wired,

Q-Warrior, the newest version of helmet-mounted display technology from BAE Systems’ Q-Sight line, is a full-color, 3D heads-up display designed to provide soldiers in the field with rapid, real-time “situational awareness.”

With a high-resolution transparent display, Q-Warrior overlays data and a video stream over the soldier’s view of the world. Q-Warrior also includes enhanced night vision, waypoints and routing information, and the ability to identify hostile and non-hostile forces, track personnel and assets, and coordinate small unit actions.

While the company doesn't mention it, it's likely that the system could be adapted to include automated facial recognition. Since technologies like these have a way of migrating from the military to domestic law enforcement, everyone concerned about civil liberties at home should pay close attention to the deployment of tools like this one abroad.

It's a brave new world.

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.