Some Chinese Schools Implement Creepy Tracking System Into Student Uniforms
If you've been wondering when the intersection of technology and apparel would reach its peak, we might be fast-approaching it. According to The Verge, Chinese schools are rolling out chip-equipped uniforms to its students.
While you might think it's only to ensure students are safe, it's actually to encourage better attendance rates. Here's how it works: Each uniform contains two chips in the shoulders, which track when the students enter and exit the building. The uniforms also feature facial recognition software at the entrances, so that students cannot simply have their friends wear their outfits to fool the attendance records. If students try to leave the grounds during school hours, an alarm will sound. In other words, this is Ferris Bueller's worst nightmare.
— techquery (@techquery_) December 31, 2018
The uniforms' features don't end there. Even though they are outfitted with all this technology, they are still able to endure washing temperatures up to 302 degrees Fahrenheit. The chips can also track when a student has fallen asleep during class, and they enable students to make payments.
Currently, the uniforms are being used in 10 schools in China, with one school having already used the uniforms since 2016. Some say this technology has gone too far, and that there is no firewall in place to prohibit school administrators from tracking students after school hours and away from school grounds. In response, administrators have said that while that is true, they are not using the chips in that way.
While this tracking technology might seem upsetting and creepy to some, there are some potential applications that aren't as "1984"-inspired. For example, employees might appreciate the option of leaving their ID cards at home, and instead having chip-enabled uniforms that perform the same functions. The sky is the limit with connected apparel, so it will be interesting to see how other companies and organizations will begin using the technology.