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Chinese university use facial recognition to combat truancy

A university in China are making sure their students don't skip their lessons by using facial recognition software.

Professor Shen Hao - who teaches on six courses at the Communication University of China in Beijing - is trying to keep track on the attendance of over 300 pupils using the special software that scans each student's face and matches them to a database of pictures.

Shen said: "The traditional way of tracking attendance is through a roll call. The new system saves time and reduces the workload of teachers."

When each student enters the class, they have to stand one by one in front of a camera, which takes their picture and matches it against the preloaded photographs of them.

Cui Yuqin, a student studying data journalism at the university, quipped to China Daily that it didn't allow the students to skip classes and have others sign in their attendance for them.

Using facial recognition software has become very popular in China, with the software recently being installed in a public bathroom at the Temple of Heaven Park in Beijing to monitor how much toilet roll is being used.

The six machines, which requires a person to have their photo taken before being dispensed loo roll, ensures a person doesn't abuse the free toilet roll on offer.

The maximum amount someone can get is two feet of toilet paper every nine minutes and the devices are said to have been installed to combat the current spate of thefts of toilet roll in the Chinese capital.

A spokesperson said at the time: "If we encounter guests who have diarrhoea or any other situation in which they urgently require toilet paper, then our staff on the ground will directly provide the toilet paper."

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