Student face and voice scans the new keys to Chinese university dorms

Undergraduates required to have features scanned in latest example of how technology is becoming widely used across mainland

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 September, 2017, 2:17pm
UPDATED : Monday, 04 September, 2017, 6:14pm

Student halls at Beijing Normal University are now using facial and voice recognition technology to allow residents to enter the building.

This year’s incoming class of 2,626 freshmen are required to have their faces scanned as part of the university’s induction procedure, according to a Beijing News report on Monday.

The new technology was first tested in 13 of the university’s student halls back in May, before being installed in all dormitories in mid-August.

Students can verify their identity by swiping their university card in the machine, before either saying their own name or scanning their face.

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If they are unable to be identified by their face or their voice, students can also manually enter a password linked to their university card.

The system’s voice recognition technology recognises 26 regional accents, according to the report.

Facial recognition technology is on the verge of becoming mainstream in China, where it can be used to board planes, access cash machines and verify online payments.

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One branch of KFC in Hangzhou, in eastern China, started using facial recognition on Friday to let customers “smile to pay” for their orders, while police in Qingdao used the technology in surveillance cameras to arrest a number of wanted criminals who attended a beer festival last week.

Facial recognition technology has even been installed at Beijing’s Temple of Heaven since March to stop tourists stealing toilet paper from the attraction.

It continues to advance in China despite concerns about the widespread extent of government surveillance and loss of individuals’ privacy.