BDS watches help par­ents track chil­dren

Global Times US Edition - - CHINA - By Wang Yi and Deng Xiaoci

China’s home­grown Bei­dou Nav­i­ga­tion Satel­lite Sys­tem (BDS) has been ex­panded its us­age for civil­ian ap­pli­ca­tion and is help­ing pupils to en­joy the sum­mer va­ca­tion more safely.

Nearly 17,000 pupils in the Nan­sha dis­trict, Guangzhou, South China’s Guang­dong Province, have re­ceived free watches equipped with BDS, which will help their par­ents ob­tain their real-time lo­ca­tion as well as alerts for any po­ten­tial safety risks, the dis­trict gov­ern­ment said in a state­ment sent to the Global Times on Satur­day.

The watch is equipped with a lo­ca­tion chip, which works to­gether with the BDS to help de­tect their lo­ca­tion. The do­mes­ti­cally de­vel­oped chip is also com­pat­i­ble with the Global Po­si­tion­ing Sys­tem (GPS). Even if the satel­lite sig­nals are blocked it can still be de­tected within an ac­cu­racy of 10 me­ters, said Zhu Yan­jun, the leader of the project.

As the dis­trict is home to sev­eral bod­ies of wa­ter, the watch also sends wa­ter risk alerts to par­ents, Zhu noted.

Fam­i­lies par­tic­i­pated in this pro­gram vol­un­tar­ily, and as of Fri­day, 8,000 out of 17,000 users had completed the reg­is­tra­tion process and are cur­rently on­line. Users’ per­sonal in­for­ma­tion is reg­is­tered on the data­base of the Min­istry of Public Se­cu­rity and the Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy.

The dis­tri­bu­tion of Bds-en­abled smart watches in Nan­sha is part of a BDS city ap­pli­ca­tion demon­stra­tion project ap­proved by the China Satel­lite Nav­i­ga­tion Of­fice in Oc­to­ber 2018.

The pro­gram is also part of ef­forts to pro­mote the civil­ian ap­pli­ca­tion of BDS in the dis­trict. More pro­grams, such as se­cu­rity wrist rings for se­nior cit­i­zens and smart locks for lo­gis­tics pal­lets, are in the pipe­line.

Such a de­vel­op­ment shows that civil­ian use of BDS is one of the pri­or­i­ties of the sys­tem’s in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion, a BDS in­dus­try ob­server, who asked not to be named, told the Global Times on Sun­day.

The de­vices be­ing dis­trib­uted for free to chil­dren are both GPS- and BDS- en­abled, prov­ing that China’s sys­tem and its US coun­ter­part are not ex­clu­sive of each other, and in fact work bet­ter to­gether than alone as more satel­lite sig­nals mean greater ac­cu­racy and a more sta­ble re­cep­tion, he noted.

Ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial white pa­per re­leased by the Global Nav­i­ga­tion Satel­lite Sys­tem and Lo­ca­tion-based Ser­vice As­so­ci­a­tion of China in May, the to­tal num­ber of ter­mi­nal prod­ucts in­clud­ing smart phones in­stalled with BDS com­pat­i­ble chips was close to 700 mil­lion.

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