Police in the Brockton, Massachusetts gang unit are getting a shiny new toy to tackle crime with: a facial recognition system called MORIS that uses an iPhone to identify suspects in the field. I guess it beats being dragged downtown.

Here's how the system, developed by BI2 Technologies, works: an officer uses an iPhone to snap the picture of a person of interest, which is then sent back and compared against a database of nogoodniks that the state is currently compiling. There's also an iris identification feature in the works, wherein a close-up shot of the suspect's eye is sent back to central command for reference, along with a fingerprint reader.

The official word is that the system will only be used when there's probable cause, although I'm sure exactly when and where it can be used and how the database is maintained will be the subject of some debate upon implementation. I just can't wait for the commercialized version. Blind dates will never be the same again! [Patriot Ledger via Fark]