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MorChana to have face recognition integrated, warn officials of foreigners outside designated Sandbox zones

MorChana to have face recognition integrated, warn officials of foreigners outside designated Sandbox zones

PHUKET: The MorChana app has been expanded to inform officials within 30 minutes if any tourists are not in designated zones where they are supposed to remain while observing their Sandbox quarantine period, and is now integrated where possible to use face recognition software, the Minister for Digital Economy and Society (MDES) has revealed.

Sunday 10 October 2021, 06:51PM

In addition to leading a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall to update Phuket officials about the expansion of the MorChana app, Mr Chaiwut during his visit inspected operations at the ’Phuket Sandbox Operation Center’ in Phuket Town and the Command Control Center operated by Patong Municipality.

The expansion of the MorChana app’s capabilities by integrating it with the command control centres was part of the move “to support the plan to open the country to receive tourists in the next phase,” Mr Chaiwut said.

The plan was to pilot the expanded integrated IT capabilities in Phuket first as a pilot area before rolling out similar integrated efforts in other Sandbox tourist areas in other provinces, he added.

Present at the meeting at Provincial Hall to hear the news were Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew and Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong, along with Thammanoon Sriwathana, Vice Governor of Phang Nga Province.

“The Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa) has taken part in driving Phuket Sandbox by providing technological assistance to agencies involved in this project, such as developing face tracking systems, systems following the MorChana app, creating dashboards used for situation reports, Phuket Tourism Sandbox system alerts, as well as the Shaba Plus system and tourist inspection system for use in quarantine,” he said.

Mr Chaiwut noted that the ‘Phuket Sandbox Operation Center’, set up at the headquarters of the Phuket Provincial Police in Phuket Town, already received information regarding tourists from Immigration, all the major piers operating boat travel and tours to and from the island, as well as SHA Plus reports, police reports an Tourist Police reports.

“By having tourists travelling to Phuket must download the MorChana app it can be used as a tracking system that will signal the location where tourists are every half an hour to the centre,” Mr Chaiwut said.

“This makes it known where tourists who come to Phuket are at any point, and if tourists leave the area of ​​Phuket, the system will alert the centre,” he added.

“We are also expanding the use of the MorChana app to support the government’s policy to open more areas in other provinces to foreign tourists,” he said.

“Staff from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports have downloaded and installed the MorChana app and tested is outside the designated area, and found that the system will alert the control room that there are violators out of the area so that officers can locate the tourists and led them back to the area [where they are to remain during the island quarantine period],” Mr Chaiwut said.

The officers also tested the MorChana app’s ability to log information about foreign tourists’ COVID-19 test history, confirming that they have tested negative for the virus so they may be allowed to enter other areas, Mr Chaiwut continued.

“This increases confidence about preventing the risk of infection and supports the push to open the country to revive the tourism economy, to let Thailand come back as a top tourist destination of the world as it was before, but this time under the new normal lifestyle,” he said.

During his visit, Mr Chaiwut visited the ‘IOC’ (Intelligence Operation Center), or ‘Command Center’, operated by Patong Municipality.

The Patong Municipality IOC was originally developed to help manage traffic problems and other issues affecting residents and visitors to the town, and has CCTV throughout the town feeding footage to the centre, but is now linked to the ‘Phuket Sandbox Operation Center’ in Phuket Town, Mr Chaiwut explained.

The CCTV cameras installed throughout the town through the project to develop Patong into a ‘Smart City’ have face recognition capability, Mr Chaiwut noted.

“In the next phase, the goal is to link the information of various agencies in Phuket together for the benefit of the people in the province before leading to the driving of the Phuket Smart City project,” he said.

While in Patong Mr Chaiwut also officiated the handover of IT equipment to a ‘Community Digital Center’ for young people, one of 500 such centres being set up throughout the country.

The goal of the ‘Community Digital Centers’ is to be used as a learning resource for young people in digital technology and people in the community the ability to develop self-learning through the internet and to promote lifelong learning and promote online sales of products to increase base incomes for people, Mr Chaiwut said.

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skorchio | 14 October 2021 - 09:22:14

Why they need to track the most vaccinated and tested people in the country? Anyone who is vaxxd can now come and go off the island - so why does an arrival (also vaxxd and fully tested) need to be tracked? What are they gonna do? What is the risk? This country has Covid up the yingyang, but they need to track the arrivals? Thailand's policies of keeping Covid out are no longer applicable .......

Kurt | 13 October 2021 - 08:47:15

Guess foreign tourists don't have to worry to much about MorChana app's 'Orwell 1984' ability. Most of the time it will not work. Just red in BP dozens of negative comments on the 'renewal' of a simple 90 day report on line. Is not working properly. IT skills here seem to be far behind real 'smart', not even level of 'normal' in Government offices.

agogohome | 12 October 2021 - 15:08:18

Who writes this nonsense? 'to have' in the title, and 'has been' in the first paragraph! Which is it?

Christy Sweet | 11 October 2021 - 19:09:23

That headline is difficult to discern.  Warn officials of foreigners?  Or... 'Officials warn foreigners ...' ?

Kurt | 11 October 2021 - 14:11:34

Foreign tourists choose  countries where they like to have holiday. Thailand can't  effort the luxury to play it the other way around. Handling of tourists present thai way is complete hard headed misplaced and contra productive. When Thai Officialdom start rising to international handling level of matters? At this moment it effects many thai lives negatively. Many empty bellies

CaptainJack69 | 11 October 2021 - 13:07:51

Other countries wasted tax payers money on these platforms a year ago and they're now made obsolete by vaccination and cancelation of quarantine. The rest of the world is opening up but Thailand is investing in closing its doors even further?

If Reuters are to be believed then Thailand will wave quarantine altogether starting next month anyway.

CaptainJack69 | 11 October 2021 - 12:59:52

Wait, it already had location tracking. Do we take it from "expanded" that it didn't work before? Regardless, if it does work then why do visitors have to stay in SHA hotels? What reason is there other than money? Especially for arrivals who have local residences.

Kamala Pete | 11 October 2021 - 10:31:33

What a brave new world! Huxley and Orwell were right. How long until AI knows what we're thinking and Somchai is around to arrest us ??

Kurt | 11 October 2021 - 09:16:34

Thai Officialdom not understands that foreign tourists from democratic countries not want to be tracked every 30 minutes by a Thai Command Centre. No hope for revival of international tourism direction Thailand. It's Orwell 1984.  Probably there are UN resolutions forbidding this? Yes, I know, if there are Thailand don't respect such. So, foreign tourists just vote with their feet. 

Kurt | 10 October 2021 - 23:41:45

Foreign tourists, isn't it great you enter a Thai country  large concentration camp with command centers and everything what is needed to keep you regimental under control. Don't step out of line or you will be punished! Being tourist in Thailand means you are a controlled subject. Behave controlled, otherwise  ......

Capricornball | 10 October 2021 - 22:20:00

Big Brother is moving in...China style.  Way too invasive, IMHO

Kurt | 10 October 2021 - 20:27:00

Sickening, more regimental attitude setting of Phuket Officialdom towards doupting tourists who yes/no consider Thailand for a holiday. NO will prevail. Why Governor trio not produce a list of Sha hotels on Phuket? Since arrival quarantine slimmed down to 7 days, why no update about how many PCR tests are now obligated.?Nothing of Phuket Government is with feeling for foreign tourists. 

Fascinated | 10 October 2021 - 19:19:32

How very Big Brother. The use of 'Command Control Centers' is very sinister. How will it differentiate between tourists and retirees? We'll be OK though as none of the myriad of CCTV systems installed in the past work.


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