Fa­cial recog­ni­tion gets a thumbs-up

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - 4 China - By CHENG SI chengsi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Fa­cial recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy is work­ing well at tourist at­trac­tions around the coun­try, re­duc­ing time peo­ple spend stand­ing in lines at en­tries or se­cu­rity checks and free­ing up venue re­sources to en­hance vis­i­tors’ ex­pe­ri­ence, those us­ing the tech­nol­ogy say.

T he tech­nol­ogy is in use at 65 scenic spots and will be ex­tended to more than 300 by the end of this year, ac­cord­ing to China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion.

Xie Ji­ayan, gen­eral man­ager of Kanas Al­tay Wis­dom Travel Co, who is ac­tively en­gaged in the mod­ern­iza­tion of the Xin­jiang Uygur au­tonomous re­gion’s Kanas Na­tional Geop­ark, said fa­cial recog­ni­tion has brought great con­ve­nience both to trav­el­ers and park em­ploy­ees.

“We once used a fin­ger­print iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem but with poor re­sults be­cause fin­ger­prints, espe­cially those of the el­derly, can’t be rec­og­nized in cold win­ter tem­per­a­tures,” she said.

Xie said the new sys­tem, how­ever, can iden­tify a trav­eler even un­der strong light or in dark­ness, and is not af­fected by weather. The sys­tem has been used since Au­gust.

The sys­tem is open only to trav­el­ers with multi-en­try per­mits, while trav­el­ers with sin­gle-en­try tick­ets can get into the park by swip­ing an ID card, she said.

“Cam­eras at park en­try points will take a snap­shot of trav­el­ers with a multi-en­try ticket, with which they can get into park again af­ter their faces are ini­tially cap­tured,” she said.

Xie said that trav­el­ers used to wait at en­tries for ticket checks for at least 30 min­utes dur­ing peak sea­son, but the time is greatly re­duced now.

“Il­le­gal ticket scalp­ing is also erad­i­cated,” she said. “We have more time to of­fer ser­vices to trav­el­ers rather than spend­ing time check­ing tick­ets.”

The fa­cial recog­ni­tion sys­tem has also re­ceived a pos­i­tive re­sponse from trav­el­ers.

Xiao Zhen­lin, 54, who vis­ited the geop­ark over the Na­tional Day hol­i­day, said: “The sys­tem makes my trip eas­ier. I hope more at­trac­tions will adopt this tech­nol­ogy.”

The tech­nol­ogy will be used for ho­tel check-ins and restau­rant reser­va­tions, Xie said.

It was de­vel­oped jointly by Bei­jing-based Aibee, a high­tech com­pany in ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence re­search, and Send In­tel­li­gent based in Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince.

Fa­cial recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy has been pro­moted as part of “smart tourism”, in which trav­el­ers can en­joy safer and eas­ier trips based on data anal­y­sis and AI.

Long­men Grot­toes in Luoyang, He­nan prov­ince, in­tro­duced fa­cial recog­ni­tion to help sim­plify en­try pro­ce­dures in Septem­ber 2017.

Sup­ported by Ten­cent Youtu Lab, the sys­tem used at the grot­toes al­lows trav­el­ers to get into the at­trac­tion by match­ing their face with a snap­shot taken at the en­trance.

Smart tourism — ini­ti­ated in Zhen­jiang, Jiangsu prov­ince, in 2010 — is rec­om­mended both by author­i­ties and tourist at­trac­tions. Na­tional tourism author­i­ties re­leased a guide­line to help pro­mote smart tourism in 2015.

HUANG XIAOHAI / FOR CHINA DAILY

Tourists drink rice wine poured down­hill, cup by cup, by dozens of Miao eth­nic women dur­ing a gourmet fes­ti­val in Danzhai county, Guizhou prov­ince, on Satur­day. More than 43,000 Miao peo­ple and tourists par­tic­i­pated in the event, which fea­tures din­ing ta­bles mea­sur­ing more than 3,500 me­ters in length.

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