RIYADH: The Ministry of Haj will soon ask all pilgrims to wear electronic bracelets containing important information.
A source from the government department said ministries of Haj and interior had completed an initial feasibility study for introducing the scheme.He said: “The project is now with the Ministry of Finance for a budgeting proposal.
Once the Ministry of Finance and the higher authorities approve the project, the Ministry of Haj will immediately implement it.”
The e-bracelet is water-resistant and is to be worn by each pilgrim. “The e-bracelet has a barcode where all of the pilgrim’s information is stored.
“The information stored includes address of residence in the Kingdom and full medical records. By scanning the barcodes, the ministry will be able to obtain all the information it needs.”
He said the project had six phases starting with the initial study of the project, followed by planning the project, getting approval, forming committees, manufacturing and implementation, distribution and supervision.
The source said: “The e-bracelet will have services for pilgrims as well as a GPS system. It will also have a prayer time alert, a compass pointing the pilgrims to where they should face when they pray, Haj and Umrah steps and supplications for both pilgrimages.”
He also said there would be an information desk contact available in a number of languages to help pilgrims maneuver the streets of Makkah.
“The ministry aims to serve pilgrims and visitors of Makkah within in its utmost capacity. The e-bracelet will be a technological revolution that will expedite many processes such as collecting statistics of pilgrims.”
He added a private association of Arab pilgrims had already developed a prototype e-bracelet.
“The e-bracelet the association used had the GPS system as its main feature. Their plan was to quickly and easily locate the pilgrims in case of emergencies. “The experiment paved the way for our new e-bracelet.”