Beijing Park Uses Face Detector for Toilet Paper Dispenser

By | Mar 21, 2017 12:50 AM EDT
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The Temple of Heaven (The Qi Nian Temple) is illuminated as Beijing celebrates the New Year's Eve at the Temple of Heaven Park.(Photo : Getty Images)

A famous tourist park in Beijing installed toilet paper dispensers equipped with facial recognition to prevent visitors from taking too much toilet paper. 

Officials at the Temple of Heaven (Qi Nian Temple) park, a tourist destination in Beijing, put six of these machines in its public bathrooms for a two-week trial. Park employees are stationed beside these machines to explain the technology to the users. 

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The machines are placed on walls at the average height of men and women. The person who wants to get toilet paper must remove his or cap and sunglasses for the machine to recognize the face. The instruction on the machines say that it will only take 3 seconds to take the photo, but visitors have reported it to take 30 seconds to more than a minute, causing delay and confusion. 

The machines only dispense toilet paper of about 60 to 70 cm (24 to 27,5 inches) for each person and will not dispense again for the same visitor unless a further 9 minutes have elapsed.

"If we encounter guests who have diarrhea or any other situation in which they urgently require toilet paper, then our staff on the ground will directly provide the toilet paper," a park spokesman told Beijing Wanbao.  

The machines are not used when there are only few park visitors. Officials said that the trial was a success as amount of used toilet paper was reduced by 20 percent. 

This face detector machine came about after a visitors of the park were found to take too many toilet paper, with some even stuffing plastic bags with tissue paper to take home with them. The Temple Heaven said that this practice has been going on since they started to dispense free toilet paper 10 years ago. 

The park still uses the regular toilet paper dispensers.

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