The East China city of Hangzhou has recently adopted 人臉識別 systems and other technologies to modernize its public toilets to better serve residents and tourists.

Facial recognition sensors have been installed in Xiaoshan District, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province in eastern China to prevent wasting toilet paper. The sensor installed on the toilet paper dispenser can recognize a person’s face within three seconds and provide a piece of paper. China Central Radio (CNR) reported on Sunday that the same person could only request the second article after 10 minutes.

Some modern bathrooms in Hangzhou are now equipped with odor monitoring systems and infrared visitor flow sensors to facilitate cleaning and maintenance. According to local news media Zhejiang News, a central ventilation system has been installed to control odors.

Xiaoshan District is also preparing to launch an online platform to support toilet operations. According to CNR reports, cleaners can report a broken faucet on the app via their mobile phone and send the information to the maintenance, purchasing and finance departments.

Some toilets use recyclable materials, reducing costs by 20%. CNR said that fewer construction workers are required to assemble such materials, and relocation will become quick and easy.

Hangzhou’s move is part of the city’s three-year “toilet revolution” plan, which was launched in August to better meet the basic needs of urban and rural residents. In Xiaoshan District alone, 79 urban toilets and 729 rural toilets were built and renovated.

The plan created a “third toilet” for mothers, infants, children and the elderly. The ratio of men to women in toilets shall be at least 1:1.5, and toilets for men and women shall be built to serve women during peak hours.

China’s “toilet revolution” began in 2015, with 68,000 toilets installed or upgraded in tourist destinations, an increase of 19.3% from the original plan in 2017. According to the “Beijing Business Daily” report, the “revolution” has now expanded beyond tourist attractions to benefit residents.