Beijing park using facial recognition to dispense toilet paper

Carla Harmon
March 20, 2017

In an effort to crack down on Beijing's "toilet paper bandits", numerous public restrooms at the Temple of Heaven are now equipped with facial recognition systems.

The tourist attraction is reportedly frequented by visitors who take large amounts of loo roll home. Reports said that the machines, which are supposed to scan a face in three seconds but in reality can take up to 30 seconds, had caused delays and confusion. Well, many visitors to the Temple of Heaven are notorious for stashing massive amounts of toilet paper into their bags.

Park officials have installed six machines at its public bathrooms in a half-month trial, with staff on standby to explain the technology to visitors.

Each toilet user can only get a piece of paper measuring 60 cm (24 inches) to 70 cm (28 inches) each time.


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.

On Weibo, many netizens have mocked the system, adding that they don't think 60cm of paper would be enough for them.

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

The park has been aware of this problem for years, which began shortly after it started dispensing free toilet paper in 2007.


Toilet paper use at one of the park's public toilets has dropped from 20 to four rolls within three days, reports said.

Beijing News said that two machines had also broken down during a recent visit over the weekend. However, it is claimed, some people still lack paper use manners.

The installed machine's software remembers new faces and in case if same person will come again in a specific time, the machine will not activate the roller of tissue paper. But a few said the public shouldn't get too wound up over the issue.

In a bid to stop toilet-paper thieves, a tourist attraction in Beijing has rolled out facial recognition for users of toilet paper.


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