Facial Recognition Could Now Limit Toilet Paper Dispensed
Tourist authorities in Beijing have installed facial recognition technology to limit amounts of toilet paper dispensed from public bathrooms because they are fed up with theft.
Bathrooms at tourist sites are a special focus of the campaign, in response to a vast expansion in domestic travel and demands for better facilities from a more affluent public.
At Beijing's 600-year-old Temple of Heaven, administrators recognised the need to stock the public bathrooms with toilet paper, a requirement for obtaining a top rating from the National Tourism Authority.
But they needed a means of preventing patrons from stripping them bare for personal use - hence the introduction of new technology that dispenses just one 60-centimetre section of paper every nine minutes following a face scan.
"People take away the paper mostly because they are worried they can't find any when they want to use it the next time. But if we can provide it in every toilet, most people will not do it anymore," Zhan said.
China's so-called "toilet revolution", launched two years, ago calls for at least 34,000 new public bathrooms in Beijing and 23,000 renovated by the end of this year.
Authorities are also encouraging the installation of Western-style sit-down commodes rather than the more common squat toilets.