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Guangdong Chengguan Compete for Geek Cred Against Google Glass

Posted: 04/23/2014 7:45 am

It’s quite literally a gadget face-off.

First, Jiang Yifan, a Changzhou chengguan (城管, or “city management officer”) in Jiangsu Province, touted his latest gear — Google Glass head wear— on Weibo. Then, Guangzhou chengguan fired back by brandishing a recording device that rivals Google Glass, but at only a tenth of its cost.

The mysterious “law enforcement recording device” used by the Guangzhou chengguan is the size of a brooch and can be pinned to the front of a guard’s uniform. Compared to the estimated RMB 10,000 cost of Google Glass, the equivalent made-in-China device only costs RMB 1,400. Moreover, it is equipped with a recording camera and a charger, Yangcheng Evening News reported on April 22.

The mysterious recording device used by Guangzhou chengguan. Photo credit: Yangcheng Evning News

“Compared with Google Glass, our law enforcement recording device is easier to operate and lightweight,” said one chengguan who claimed to have used the device.

Google Glass, a wearable computer, boasts a hands-free function where a wearer can record or take photos by blinking or through the use of voice command. According to the Guangzhou chengguan, their device also features a hand-free function. An urban guard can press the device’s button and record a scene while still engaging his ongoing task. (Which doesn’t sound ‘hands-free’ to us.)

Despite the competition for tech superiority, the chengguan in the two cities both agreed the use of such high-tech devices (if the unknown made-in-China one is able to qualify for such a title) will better help them deal with often violent incidents between chengguan and street vendors. More importantly, it may serve to dispel accusations of the chengguan’s propensity towards brutality and violence.

The latest such violent confrontation took place in Cangnan, Zhejiang Province. The clash on Saturday is said to have injured six when the crowds retaliated on chengguan after seeing the officers violently beating an onlooker when the officers’ requests of asking the onlooker to stop filming were turned down.

It is not known if the chengguan in that incident were wearing a Google Glass device or its Chinese equivalent, nor if they were able to operate its hands-free feature when they were getting their asses handed to them.

Home page photo: Chengguan Jiang Yifan wears the Google Glass patrolling the streets.

Photo credit: Jiangsu Net 

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