Police Use Drones and Facial Recognition for Security at Tokyo Marathon

Police use technology to protect at the Tokyo Marathon. 

By: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Tokyo is living in the future — and not just because it’s already Monday there. To combat any horrific, murderous acts like those which took place at the 2013 Boston Marathon or in Paris this past November, police in Japan used both drones and facial recognition to ensure security at the Tokyo Marathon earlier today.

The police in Tokyo used the massacre in Massachusetts as a cue to strengthen their own security measures. The Japan Times reports that this year, both public protectors and private companies came together to ensure safety.

Security firm Secom Co. provided a face authentication system taking photos and numbers of 900 competitors (2.5 percent of total runners) at the entrance gate to check them against photos sent in advance of the run.

Secom also flew one of its airships and another company provided a drone to take photos at the finish line. The Metropolitan Police Department also was prepared with drones at hand to “capture” any weird other drones that flew around the marathon. They also had members of a “riot squad” with submachine guns just in case, and officers running (quickly, we imagine) alongside the marathoners.

And if you’re wondering who won, it was Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa. And everything seemed to have gone off without a hitch.