Great moments in facial recognition……

The Chinese have a novel application for the technology. 


According to the AP

To boost tourism, bathrooms at some Chinese tourist sites now use facial recognition to keep visitors from grabbing too much toilet paper.

Yep, you read that right.

Picture source

Here are the details…


Apparently, there’s a problem at many Chinese tourist spots:

Visitors are prone to walk off with “extra” toilet paper that they stockpile for future use.

The solution: Install special toilet dispensers equipped with facial recognition software.

The dispenser snaps a picture, digitizes the visitor’s facial characteristics and scans data files to see if “the face” is a first-timer or a repeat customer.

If the “face” belongs to a newbie … or a repeat visitor who hasn’t recently grabbed some toilet paper …  then, the machine dispenses 4 feet of toilet paper.  If it’s a recent repeater — within the past 10 minutes — then, no toilet paper for you.

If the restroom visitor needs more toilet paper, they can wait 10 minutes, get another 4 feet of paper and (hopefully) finish the job.

Think about that for a second.

Halfway done, you wobble to the machine, have your picture taken, grab some more tissue and then head back to your stall to finish the job.

Creepy, right?

Again, the stated goal  “is to encourage tourism, and thus, boost the national economy.”

Say, what?

Doesn’t exactly make me want to hop on plane ….



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