A newly developed surveillance technology will help cops, spooks, and businesses review huge troves of security footage in the blink of an eye. Remember the crazy technology from The Bourne Identity? It could be here as early as next year.

The new tech developed by Hitachi Kokusai Electric achieves super-fast speeds by processing video as it's recorded—much like the facial recognition technology used in digital cameras. That means that once the footage is recorded, finding a face in the crowd in hours and days of recordings is a simple database search. There are some limitations to the system. It can only scan faces within 30 degrees vertically or horizontally from the camera and the faces have to be at least 40 x 40 pixels in size. While the technology will surely help nab some crooks after the fact, it's terrifyingly Big Brotherish. [DigInfo via Ubergizmo via The Verge]