Modern technology is an amazing and very useful thing. Every reader of Pro-Papers will agree that, despite some “excesses”, modern people would live much harder without all these miraculous gadgets. What is described in this article is just one of such contradictory inventions. In any case, this is precisely the impression created by the use of this technology when you hear about it for the first time.
Not so long ago, Chinese schools surprised the whole world by the fact that they were among the first to install “smart” cameras with a system of recognizing the faces of pupils that could spy on students, including sleeping children. Now the schools of the Middle Kingdom have received an even more interesting novelty.
Pupils of Chinese schools began to wear a uniform with GPS function that is linked to the facial recognition system. When you skip class or leave school without permission, the system activates an audible alarm, writes ABC News. Meanwhile innovation is only on testing stage, though a great many of people have called that experiment deprives children of their rights and privacy. How the new school uniform system works and what was it developed for – in the Pro-Papers’ material.
In the Chinese province of Guizhou, for children from eleven schools, a special smart school uniform has been introduced. The electronic chips, which transmit information about the location of students, are embedded into it. In addition to the GPS tracker, such uniforms were connected to the facial recognition system. The provincial government reports that the project is in the process of testing and improvement.
Information about the student’s movements — in particular, at what time he or she entered the school and left it — is transmitted to the school administration and parents. Thus, if someone suddenly tries to leave school before the end of classes, his or her supervisor will know about it at that very moment. In addition, if a student leaves the school without permission, the form will activate a built-in audible alarm.
To exclude possible manipulations with smart uniforms, schools were additionally equipped with a face recognition system – this allows you to make sure that a student came in his own form, and did not ask a friend to put on the second shirt over his own.
Another function of the smart uniform is the awakening of sleeping pupils (in case someone accidentally snuggled during the lesson). The developers claim that the form can “understand” whether a student fell asleep and, if so, wake him up (unfortunately, they do not explain exactly how it works).
Innovative school uniforms, in addition to surveillance, have other functions. For example, it allows students to pay at the school canteen, although the purchase must be further confirmed using fingerprint identification or face recognition. Funds are deducted from a special individual school account managed by parents through a mobile application. Thus, parents have the opportunity to add money to their child’s virtual account, as well as to set a limit on making purchases.
Despite the embedded chips, the form can be washed. According to the assurances of its manufacturer, Guizhou Guanyu Technology, smart clothes can withstand temperatures of up to 105 ° C and about 500 washes.
Contrary to all innovations, in social networks the opinions of users are radically divided. The main argument of opponents of using surveillance cameras and built-in GPS trackers in school uniforms are claims that this technology will deprive a child of his right to privacy. In fact, even an adult is hard to accept the fact that he or she will be monitored 24 hours a day and every movement is fixed in the system.
Ling Jongwu, director of the Zunyi City School No. 11 in Guizhou, stated that although the school has the ability to track students at any time, they use this technology with care.
“We decided not to check the exact location of students after school, but when a student misses classes and misses lessons, the uniform helps to find them,” said Ling. He also added that after the introduction of the smart school uniform, the attendance at school has increased.
The company-developer did not stand aside and responded to the criticism of its invention, saying that they “respect and protect human rights.”
Of course, many people in China, in particular parents of those students who have already experienced the smart school uniform, are in favor of such an invention. In their opinion, now they can be calm about the safety of their children. In case when an unforeseen situation happens to a child, it is always possible to find out his or her location even outside the school.
Child safety is a priority for any parent. That is why most families resort to using smartphones and smart watches to know where the child is and if everything is in order. However, the aforementioned gadgets could be simply forgotten at home or lost, in contrast to the smart school uniform, invented by developers from China.
Overall, the Chinese government hopes that all this will help increase the quality of education, helping teachers and students. Of course, there are those in the country and abroad who oppose the monitoring program for schoolchildren, but the opinion of these people has no particular influence on the implementation of the program. Officials continue to introduce new technologies, adjusting them to the modern requirements of society. Who knows, maybe in a couple of decades, a smart school uniform will success and be in use as an obligatory element in the education system all over the world.