Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Culture | By Julio Duncan

Beijing park uses facial recognition scanners to tackle toilet paper thieves

Beijing park uses facial recognition scanners to tackle toilet paper thieves

A tourist attraction in central Beijing has introduced face-recognition technology to tackle the overuse of toilet paper in public toilets.

The machines at Temple of Heaven park in Beijing are said to have been installed following reports of some people taking large amount of paper from the public toilets. The machine dispenses paper of a certain length but to get more, users have to wait to use the scanner again.

The new machines, placed at the average heights for men and women, dispense strips of toilet paper measuring about 60 to 70cm (24 to 27.5 inches) to each person.

On Weibo, many netizens have mocked the system, adding that they don't think 60cm of paper would be enough for them.

"If we encounter guests who have diarrhea or any other situation in which they urgently require toilet paper, then our staff on the ground will directly provide the toilet paper".

The machines are installed in three public toilets so far.

Videos of visitors gleefully pulling off long rolls of toilet paper had gone viral online.

The smart toilet paper machine has prompted quite a discussion on mainland social media. However, it is claimed, some people still lack paper use manners.

Automatic toilet paper dispensers using face scanners are put on trial at a public toilet in Beijing with the aim of reducing paper usage, a media report said.

But it has also had teething problems. Meanwhile, workers are on hand at each restroom to instruct visitors on how to properly use the machine.

This is how it works: Each person stands in a designated area, where the machines scan his or her face.

It seems that the dispensers have become an attraction in their own right as one cleaner revealed to the BBC: "In the past there were a lot of cases of people taking toilet paper, with these new machines a lot of people have come by to take a look".

"Several low-class people have forced the rest of society to undertake a high-cost operation", said one user.

"From now on toilet users will be embarrassed to take tissue paper, ' one user 'vintage lover" commented.

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