A 24-hour unmanned bookstore, powered by 5G technology, in trial operation in Xiongan New Area, North China's Hebei Province, July 3, 2019. (Photo: China News Service/Han Bing)
Sun Qiannan, a 16-year-old student, has just experienced the convenience of borrowing three books from a 24-hour unmanned bookstore in north China's Xiongan New Area.
The membership store requires new users to swipe their ID cards for registration and pass through the facial recognition machine.
Sun said after the first step, she could enter the store through a facial recognition system to look for books by herself or with the assistance from the store's app for locating books.
Aided with the Xinhua Bookstore's 5G network and the technology of Internet of Things, all of the applications are convenient and swift, said Sun. Customers can pay via WeChat code scanning payment on cell phones.
Xiongan, China's millennium green city, is currently under construction and plans to feature innovative development. The city planning was jointly made by 24 well-known planning and design teams selected from 400 international urban design and consultancy institutes and companies.
China announced plans in 2017 to establish the Xiongan New Area, located about 100 km southwest of Beijing.
Smart city building is an important part of Xiongan's planning. China's telecom giant China Mobile has opened its 5G and artificial intelligence laboratories in Xiongan. China Telecom also set up its 5G Application Laboratory here. Tech firm Baidu conducted road testing of its driverless cars and unmanned logistics vehicles in Xiongan. JD.com has opened an unmanned supermarket here.
Liang Zilu, the person in charge of the bookstore in Rongcheng County of Xiongan, said the brick-and-mortar store has cooperated with a local mobile company to develop the unmanned store, which is also a 5G application innovation.
He said people can borrow, return and buy books through automatic facilities or apply for online reading of books in the store.
He said the bookstore is still in trial operation. It will later optimize the environment, expand the variety of books, and host cultural and art activities such as lectures, taking advantage of its intelligent technology.