Eleven schools in China have new “intelligent uniforms” that will track students’ whereabouts with embedded computer chips.
The uniforms, which are equipped with GPS devices developed by a local tech firm, are meant to ensure that students don’t skip class. Alarms are set to go off if a student walks out of the school building or falls asleep during a lesson.
Although the school’s administrators and parents have access to the location data, Principal of Renhuai Lin Zongwu said that “we choose not to check the accurate location of students after school.”
Zongwu also noted that attendance rates have risen dramatically since the uniform’s introduction.
According to news men, the company posted a public statement saying the uniforms “focus on safety issues” and provide a “smart management method” that benefits students, teachers and parents.
The chips can also reportedly be used as a cashless payment system for snacks bought on school grounds, although parents and the school would see everything a student buys.
In addition, if students try to swap uniforms in order to leave the campus, the system is designed to prevent that: Facial recognition scanners at school gates match the chips with the correct student.
The technology, which is being used in China’s southwest province of Guizhou, has apparently sparked debate on China’s social media platforms.