Beijing: facial recognition against toilet paper thieves

In the bathrooms of museums and parks to prevent waste and theft, a machine will be installed that dispenses a strip of paper per user recognized with a camera

Theft of toilet paper seems like a simple office gag. In Beijing, however, they take things seriously. So much so that in the Temple of Heaven Park, in the Chinese capital, a camera with facial recognition has been inserted to stop the "thieves" who take the coveted toilet paper home.

To be left without toilet paper once you're sitting in the bathroom is a problem that can generate some laughter but that in Beijing they have been forced to take very seriously. Also because the Asian city has received many complaints from tourists who never found paper in the toilets in museums, near monuments or main attractions. To induce people not to steal toilet paper, the Chinese government has decided to equip public restrooms with facial recognition toilet paper dispensers. Obviously warning the users of the services with signs and guides to use.

How it works

The machine that distributes the paper works with an integrated camera. In order to receive the card, one must approach the face. Each user has about 60 centimeters of toilet paper available. Duplicates cannot be requested. Only one strip of paper is allocated to each user. If you need more you have to wait 9 minutes. Among the citizens interviewed about the decisions made in Beijing, someone even speculated about using a mask to trick the machine and receive more paper. The developers said that the initial plan was to use fingerprints, but then opted for facial recognition as a matter of hygiene.