Sh*tfaced: Tiantan Park Cuts Down on Toilet Paper Thievery With Facial Recognition Technology
Giving new meaning to the term "shitfaced," a popular Beijing tourist attraction that has had trouble with tourists abusing its free supply toilet paper is looking to solve its problem by installing automatic toilet paper dispensers that operate using facial recognition technology.
Tiantan Park (Temple of Heaven) made international headlines earlier this month when many of its visitors were photographed taking reams of free toilet paper with them, some reportedly as long as 10 meters.
However, the heady days of unlimited toilet paper have come to an end with the installation of six automatic dispensers at the park's male and female public restrooms located at its north, south, and west gates.
Here's how it works: in order to receive free toilet paper, restroom patrons must have their photograph taken by the dispensers by standing in front of it with their glasses and hats off; after a couple of seconds, the patron is issued a 60-70 centimeter strand of toilet paper, depending on their height (short people draw the short stick in this policy).
The images are stored in the dispenser's memory, and will not issue free toilet paper to the same person until after nine minutes, presumably the optimum time needed to realize yes, you do indeed need more, requiring you to waddle to the machine for a second helping.
The introduction of the machines have had a bewildering effect upon middle aged and elderly restroom patrons, the demographic of people seen to be most abusing the free toilet paper. As reported by Beijing News, park workers need to instruct intimidated visitors on how to use the automatic dispensers upwards of "a thousand times a day."
The facial recognition dispensers are in keeping with Tiantan Park's promise to continue its free toilet paper policy, party committee chairman Dong Yali vowing it would "never be interrupted."
Although the Charmin squeezing days are over, it's not all bad. As a spokesperson pointed out, the upgrade to machine automation also includes an upgrade from one-ply to two-ply.
The dispensers will undergo a two-week trial before the park decides to continue using them. However, some of the public has reacted to the dispensers with privacy concerns, worried that information stored on the devices may be kept and used for ulterior motives.
Such worries aren't unfounded. In this era of identity theft, the public is often wary of anything that needlessly records their information. After all, it'd be pretty embarrassing if the memory of these automatic toilet paper dispensers were hard to wipe clean.
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