We knew it was only a matter of time, but technology dreamt-up for and featured in the Tom Cruise movie, Minority Report has worked its way into real life! According to an article in Fast Company magazine, developments of new technology has greatly advanced law enforcement and personal security. With computing power and digital breakthroughs discovered in the short eight years since the 2002 release of the Steven Spielberg directed thriller, many of the advancements imagined by writer Philip K. Dick have come to pass.
Take a look below at some new pieces of technology outlined in the article that Minority Report somehow predicted:
1. Blue CRUSH
A new IBM supercomputer, the Blue Crime Reduction Utilizing Statistical History (CRUSH) using technology much like the pre-cognitive powers Samantha Morton used in Minority Report. But instead of the mystical intuition of the “pre-cogs,” this advanced program looks at millions of reports from years of data and predicts crime ‘hot-spots’ to patrol more heavily. Already in use by the Memphis police, the Blue CRUSH tool helped the city lower serious crimes by 31 percent!
The center the Memphis folks monitor Blue CRUSH in even looks a little like a set from the movie
Just like everyone else, criminals are also on Facebook. It appears that some of those hooligans are sharing a little too much about their personal lives – including photos which led to the arrest of a murder suspect! While it’s really scary that there are people like that out there, we’re happy Facebook has helped police to catch them. Phew!
Police have even caught up with criminal suspects through status updates of the 500 million users on the social networking site. Thankfully, these guys feel a false sense of security online. So much easier to catch that way.
3. Google Maps
Newspapers and online resources throughout the country are using Google Maps to warn readers of criminal activity by tracking police blotter reports very nearly in realtime. However, the real power in the online service’s satellite imagery comes from police using it to track down crooks – including really nefarious bad guys growing or manufacturing drugs.
And here we thought using Google Maps for directions and traffic was useful! Great job by the police in figuring out ways to outsmart anyone who would jeopardize our communities with dangerous illegal drugs with the help of these handy maps.
Now here’s technology we really love seeing in action. Take a look at the video below for some details:
That’s right, with the flick of a switch auto theft could become a thing of the past! When you have can’t drive away in a car, it makes it a remarkably hard to steal it. Using GPS to locate a reported vehicle, OnStar basically disables the accelerator so a car would roll gently to a stop. Guess that will keep high speed chases off the evening news!
Best part of the OnStar technology, auto door locks. We wonder what the look on a car thief’s face would be after figuring that out!
5. Scanners, Everywhere
Cameras used for security are nothing new, but the ways they’re now being used are getting more and more sophisticated. For example, tracking license plates from intersections now leads police find criminals fleeing a scene much faster than just a few short years ago. But the real breakthrough like in Minority Report would be facial scanning technology now getting used in airports that even disguises can’t cover. No more slipping by customs using a fake mustache and an accent!
The United States House of Representatives is already talking about using drones – unmanned planes or helicopters – to keep international borders secure and check on the continued safety of oil pipelines in remote areas. But the United States is already behind the technology already in use in London for utilizing cameras on drones for police work. Check out the video below for a closer look:
Leave it to the futuristic people of Japan to take Minority Report technology to the mainstream. Tokyo police in Japan are using online avatars to identify hit-and-run suspects on wanted posters! In this case, the avatar used came from the popular Nintendo Wii gaming console, which our previously anonymous bad guy had posted a picture to. With the amount of time people spend online and playing games, we wouldn’t at all be surprised if this suspect was caught on the Internet.
So what do you think about all this technology? Are you a fan, or do you think it is kind of spooky? Let us know in the comments section!
We love hearing from you!