A tourist attraction in central Beijing has introduced face-recognition technology to tackle the overuse of toilet paper in public toilets.
Six automatic toilet paper machines equipped with face-recognition technology have been installed at public toilets near the north, south, and west gates of the Temple of Heaven, a popular tourist spot in the capital city, Beijing News reports.
Tourists are required to take off their headgear and glasses for their face to be scanned before they could obtain toilet paper from the machines.
The technology allows each user to retrieve tissue paper every nine minutes at a length of 60 to 70 centimeters each time.
Although the machines only started operating in the past few days, daily consumption of toilet paper at the park’s toilets has been reduced to a fifth of the original amount, according to hk01.com.
However, some tourists said the use of the machines was not practical because sometimes one needed to use a large amount of tissue paper at one time.
There were also users who said they simply gave up using the machine after the facial recognition technology failed to work despite numerous attempts.
A spokesperson at the Temple of Heaven said the trial period would last for two weeks, and if the feedback was positive the government might consider rolling it out nationwide.
The park has been providing free toilet paper since 2007, and has to cope with tourists who consume inordinate amounts of toilet paper when using the facilities.
The operation of face recognition technology inside the toilets have raised privacy concerns, but some are in favor of the machines, saying it would help raise awareness of the proper use of public facilities among tourists.
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