18 July 2019   15. Zul Qadah 1440
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Friday, 12 July 2019 08:48

High-tech ‘smart’ cards to keep Hajj pilgrims safe and secure

JEDDAH: Up to 25,000 Hajj pilgrims in Mina this year will be issued wearable high-tech smart cards in a pilot programme being launched by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

The smart cards will be fitted with a location tracker to follow individual pilgrims’ movements, managed by a control room in Mina

These cards can be scanned, allowing Hajj service providers to quickly identify pilgrims, access their medical history and establish what assistance they may need

The cards will store the pilgrims’ personal information, health status, residence and Hajj tour details.

They will also be fitted with a location tracker to follow individual pilgrims’ movements, managed by a control room in Mina.

“It is the experimental stage of a smart Hajj initiative we are working on, and we will study to what extent it might be advantageous to the pilgrims,” said Dr Amr Al-Maddah, the chief planning and strategy officer at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

The ministry is also issuing up to 200,000 pilgrims ID cards, which will have the same information storage technology but without the location tracking feature.

The cards will be complemented this year by a Smart Hajj ID app, Al-Maddah said. “It will offer the same features as the smart ID card, including tracking location, identifying crowded spots on the map, and the transport schedule.”

The smart card and mobile app also enable the ministry to simulate and predict crowd behaviour during Hajj.

“This new technology will help us collect data through the cards, cameras, and sensors distributed around the pilgrimage sites,” said Al-Maddah.

Darul Ihsan Media Desk

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