Beijing Restrooms Get Facial Recognition to Thwart Toilet Paper Bandits

Beijing park uses face recognition software to wipe out toilet paper theft

If they wish to get more paper, then they are required to wait for nine minutes.

The toilet is located at the Temple of Heaven Park, one of most popular tourism sites in Beijing, the People's Daily said in a report. In order to get toilet paper, visitors must remove their glasses and hat, and have their faces scanned by a high definition camera.

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.

The new smart toilet paper system has also sparked discussions on social media, particularly over privacy and security concerns.

When the BBC visited the toilets on Monday, the machines had been turned off.

According to the Legal Evening News, attendants have been posted in the public restrooms to assist and inform people about how to use the new machines.

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

But it's not often (as In you never) hear of toilet paper theft being so prolific that an attraction has had to go to the lengths seen at Beijing's Temple of Heaven. However, it is claimed, some people still lack paper use manners.

But it has also had teething problems. Six face scanning paper dispensers have been installed.

But the dispensers may now have become an attraction in their own right.

The device's software remembers recent faces, and if the same a person reappears within a certain period, it refuses to activate the automatic roller.

The case has both amused and exasperated Chinese netizens, who have condemned the bog-standard behaviour of those raiding the park's toilet paper supply.

"This is so ironic, the paper in public toilets is meant to serve all in society, now we have to use technology to regulate it", said another.

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.

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