Facial recognition software has been installed in 30 self-service ticket machines by Beijing Railway in anticipation of the increase in travellers for the Spring Festival.
With more than 8.34 million passengers expected to use the railway to make it to festival events — which began last week — officials are looking to facial recognition to speed up riders’ check-in times and shorten waiting times for tickets.
This wouldn’t be the first time officials in Beijing explored the idea of using facial recognition technology to speed up travel times for its riders. In June of 2018 officials with Beijing’s subway system announced they were exploring the use of biometric authentication — including facial recognition — for their transit network.
A year prior to that, tech giant Alibaba Group announced plans to partner with Shanghai subway officials to bring facial recognition to that network.
China is among the world leaders in its adoption of biometric technology, and has been finding a number of different uses for facial recognition technology, with smart toilet technology alone implemented in over 700 cities across the country.
In October of last year, toilet paper dispensers were outfitted with facial recognition sensors at public washrooms on Shamian Island in Gaungzhou China. The move was made to limit the amount of toilet paper — two feet per person per visit — used at the popular tourist attraction.
In a more controversial case, China is under increasing international pressure over its use of various forms of biometric surveillance technology in its northwestern Xinjiang region, where the tech is reportedly being used to monitor the Muslim minority population living there.
January 13, 2020 – by Tony Bitzionis