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China is reportedly trialling attention-detecting bands in schools

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Last year, we saw reports of Chinese schools using facial recognition technology to monitor the attention levels of students. Now a report from SupChina suggests that some schools are experimenting with headbands to detect attentiveness of children in a classroom.

The dystopian image you see above is of a classroom in a primary school in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. The device, called the Focus 1, is made by BrainCo Inc., a startup based in Boston. The company worked with the Harvard center of brain science to develop the headband. 

The headbands use electroencephalography (EEG) sensors to measure attentiveness. The product video shows that teachers can monitor the attention levels of students through a dashboard, and know which student is losing focus. They can also check the indicators to see if someone’s slacking.

While BrainCo’s aim is to help teachers give personalized attention to students, the whole setup feels very restrictive for students. In the Hangzhou implementation of the headband, teachers can monitor concentration levels, and get top three attentive students at the end of class. That means there’s added pressure on kids to pay attention during the class.

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