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Travellers to Thailand to wear “Smartband” tracking watch




PHOTO: DES - Ministry of Digital Economy and Society

Special Tourist Vias, 14 day quarantine, “plans”, “models” and endless red-tape. Now we’ve got the “smartband” to track foreigners when they visit Thailand. The so-called Smartband will have to be worn by any foreign travellers entering Thailand. The new wearable restriction for travellers to Thailand coincides with the Cabinet announcement this week to allow more foreign tourists and crew of yachts to enter Thailand under the Special Tourist Visa program.

“The wristband can track their locations and measure the body’s temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate. It can also help the wearers with various problems, such as asking for directions when they get lost.”

The Smartband is being introduced from today.It’s the brainchild of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, in cooperation with Thai startups, according to the announcement on PR Thai Government.

Details, as usual, are sketchy and there is no clarification where the smartband is given to the tourists, if it’s compulsory to wear or who pays for it. Nothing explains how the Smartband can help when the wearer is “asking for directions”. Or is it waterproof? On the government’s own PR Facebook page the reception was less than enthusiastic….

“I never wear a watch, especially in Thai heat. I don’t mind a month in the daytime but forever is nonsense. I wonder how it does in the pool? The original plan was a tracking app on the phone. No problem, I am boring, you can follow me if you like but this looks like a shakedown for tech that I don’t want, in a form that I do not use. What happens when you take it off? I certainly do not sleep with a watch on.”

“I think these measures will not be widely accepted by european users. Almost no one wants to go to Thailand with quarantine don’t understand why also add this measure.”

“The government just keeps adding silly requirements that are preventing me from wanting to go back to Thailand, and I am sure that I am not the only one.”

“Not a good idea.”

“Seems there’s a stark contrast between the easy going, open and warm hearted nature of the thai citizens and their government’s mindset & perception of how foreigners are and how they think we like to be treated. I am aware there are some who have no manners and behave poorly but that’s by far surely not a majority. As a visitor of whatever country it’s normal for me to behave as a guest of the country and behave accordingly just the way one expects it when you invite someone to your house for dinner. I am sure there’s other much better ways to keep those who are not welcome from traveling to Thailand than making every single person first of all a suspect of whatever sorrow may bother the government.”

Travellers to Thailand to wear "Smartband" tracking watch | News by Thaiger


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  1. Avatar

    sam thompson

    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 8:50 am

    A good article with some very accurate and astute observations at the end. The TAT are seeking to [gradually] open the door again to some income from tourism but too many ridiculous decisions are being made that are actually a disincentive from attracting anybody to their bloated, complicated and constipated schemes. Very few will buy into another extra imposition like this, their ideas are nearly always counter-intuitive.

    • Avatar

      Hello Welcome

      Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 4:42 pm

      Totally impractical for reasons mentioned in the article. Furthermore my blood pressure and heart rate can fluctuate for perfectly natural reasons and it should be up to me should I wish to bring it to the attention of a medical professional thank you very much. If these wristbands are made compulsory it’s a game changer as far as I am concerned and as much as I love Thailand I will choose to vacation elsewhere when it eventually opens it’s borders and I don’t think I’ll be the only one.

  2. Avatar

    Man in Canada

    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 9:01 am

    Forget about it! I won’t come if the government is going to track my every move. I’m going to explore other places to spend my tourist dollars. Cuba, Panama, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic. Bye bye Land of Smiling Big Brother.

  3. Avatar


    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 9:02 am

    geez louise! 1984.

    Nothing says “We really don’t want you visiting Thailand” better than getting tagged and monitored like a stray dog.

    • Avatar


      Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 11:32 am

      Winner, winner chicken dinner. Damn that’s funny and way to accurate. As to the article , don’t worry we all know exactly who will be paying for the device.

  4. Avatar

    reality check

    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 9:40 am

    These are not “normal” times. Of course there are people who are not going to follow the restrictions set by the Thai government but these days it could be a threat to all people in the country and re-seed the Covid virus. If people don’t get that this virus is deadly they need to stay out of the country.

    • Avatar


      Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 11:04 am

      They have a 14-day quarantine. Covid tests before flying. It is already enough to make the average tourist afraid. And now a wristband???

    • Avatar

      preesy chepuce

      Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 12:54 pm

      If it is a synthetic virus, it might not affect Asians that much.

    • Avatar


      Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 2:35 pm

      You’re right 99% of tourists will stay away from your country

  5. Avatar


    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 9:42 am


    I am sure that same as me most westerners will not abide by this additional requirement.
    And I dont think that even the Chinese will like it.

    Keep on this nonsense please. More restrictions = no tourists = prices go down in LOS. Good for me. I like it.

    • Avatar

      preesy chepuce

      Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 12:59 pm

      This Startup IoT thing doesn’t seem to be a (-n enforceable) requirement. Plenty of people aren’t really abiding by the existing measures if they can, and there doesn’t seem to be much policing of it, but that’s partly because there isn’t much of an epidemiological impact, just an economic one.

  6. Avatar


    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 9:52 am

    They’re trying to figure out a way to open up and be safe. Throwing stuff against the wall to see if it’ll stick. This is a non-starter. No one wants to go to Thailand for vacation this badly.

  7. Avatar

    preesy chepuce

    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 10:12 am

    Surely a leg-one could be cheaper? after all, they mass-produced for prisons all over the world…

    I think this is an idea from engineers infatuated with IoT and not really thinking about the human element. Think about it – asking people to pay to be treated like farm animals, will it work?! lol

  8. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 10:16 am

    It might be just another way to extort money from visitors
    The visitor will have to pay for this tracker, and the Thais will say it is essential for the good of the country.
    End result. Smiling Thais makes money, and the probably do not even track.

    • Avatar


      Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 10:25 am

      You may be right. Thats exactly what Thainess is about. Scamming foreigners with a smile. But it wont work this time.

      • Avatar


        Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 10:31 am

        That doesn’t scam foreigners, it is up to tourists where to go.

        • Avatar

          preesy chepuce

          Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 12:49 pm

          Yeah, most of them will go somewhere else.

  9. Avatar


    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 10:28 am

    It is a manifest of No Vaccine, No Foreign Tourist.

    • Avatar


      Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 11:43 pm

      I wouldn’t get too worked up about this. There is no wristband that can monitor blood pressure or body temp. This tech doesn’t exist. If it had a gps to track you, the battery would only last a couple hours.

  10. Avatar


    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 10:39 am

    I do think they should ask to buy self-electrocuting device too so a farang doesn’t wander too far in non-tourist area. On a plus this said device will a card-reader to ease the stinge for a few baht.
    Welcome, krup!

  11. Avatar

    Johnny Rambo

    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 11:00 am

    What else to expect from these Thai savages ? I repeat: Boycott Thailand guys. There are better alternatives: Indonesia, Dominicain Republic, Mexico … We really dont need Thailand. Let them starve.

    • Avatar


      Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 11:07 am

      Couldnt agree more. Unfortunately we need to stay 9 more month to let our son finish his primary school. After this we will never return. I personally regret that we not left last year. To stay longer in LandOfScam was definitely the wrong decision.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 3:20 pm

        Rather a weak excuse for staying. Go now and do everyone here a favour.

        • Avatar


          Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 3:31 pm

          Up to me what I do with my live and not up to a notorious Thai apologizer. Maybe you do everybody a favor and jump from a bridge ?

          • Avatar


            Monday, November 2, 2020 at 9:09 pm

            Agree with you

          • Avatar


            Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 11:02 pm

            Issan John is actually an old single lady, somewhere in northern part of Europe. No kids, no family whatsoever, nobody to speak to. She got couple of online reviews on Thailand and spends days, nights, weeks and months writing nonsensical garbage in order to provoke any kind of reaction

    • Avatar

      preesy chepuce

      Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 12:51 pm

      I wouldn’t call those “better alternatives”, plenty of problems in those places… pollution in air and food… violent crime… disease and medical access problems… there aren’t many places in the world that tick all the boxes, and those that do, cost a lot more than most people can or will pay.

  12. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 11:51 am

    This is only about the 14 days (like HK, Abu Dhabi…)or this is plain suicidal…

  13. Avatar


    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    Instead of a tracker watch, could I wear one of those prison outfits? You know, the ones with a big yellow arrow, or perhaps a star? Everybody would see you and you would be easy to track.

    • Avatar

      Khun plastic

      Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 10:22 pm

      Top idea,you should be the new head of tourism authority thailand (tat)
      His majesty is clearly and admirer of german traditions and institutions also,you will go far!

  14. Avatar


    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    So the chinese “tourists” that came last week and are still in quarantaine……
    Will they have to buy get this wristbands???
    Dont think so

  15. Avatar


    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    I wonder how this watch performs in a Bangkok Soapy Massage?

  16. Avatar

    David Jackson

    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    If it 100% replaces quarantine then this is a superb idea.

  17. Avatar

    Issan John

    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    Hong Kong has had this since March, as has S korea since April and Singapore since August, and others have followed suit recently such as Saudi Arabia, Hawaii, and the Cayman Islands (some charging visitors US$150-200 for the privilege) but all only for the first fortnight (whilst in quarantine).

    Since the Pattaya News is apparently the original source for this internationally it may not be 100% reliable news ….

  18. Avatar


    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    another hurdle to get to Thailand. Well, if the population doesn’t want tourists in the country, we don’t need to come back after the crisis. There are so many other countries where we are still welcome to dirty Farang. And not just reaching for our money. If our money no longer arrives, the population will no longer profit from us. Now Thailand’s real face shows behind the smile.

  19. Avatar


    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    55555 then no one will visit to Thailand if they will track our moments. What about bed time temperature normally high even blood pressure as well.
    My father my wife my brother no one track me ever but but …

  20. Avatar


    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    Who can imagine that anybody would want to be a “tourist” under the existing rules?Who would have time (who in Asia can afford 2+ weeks of “ holidays »?)and money (costly hotel quarantine)to abide by rules killing any pleasure associated with tourism-?These schemes are just smoke-screens.

  21. Avatar

    42nd Battalion

    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    Just break it off on day one and strap it to the back of a soi dog.

  22. Avatar

    James Binks

    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    This is absolutely disgusting. Getting forced to wear a prisoner bracelet. Are they fkkng joking? I just invested 10M bhat in a house there and my kids are starting school and I have to wear a friggin prisoner tag? Screw these idiots. Bill Gates and the WHO are giving the orders and they are authoritarian psychos who want forced vaccine sterilisation and global shutdown forever. They want end of all fossil fuel, mass population reduction. People really need to wake up RIGHT NOW. This has all gone way too far. This is a flu which is only slighly more dangerous than last years. Did the US panic in 2018 when 60,000 died of flu? Now they shut everything after 100,000 die? What madness is this?

  23. Avatar


    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    I wonder what happens if you go to a massage shop and they detect “happy ending” based on your heart rate.
    If they send a covid squad to take you to 14 days quarantine, it will turn out to be a very sad ending massage .

  24. Avatar

    Issan John

    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    The one thing it dosn’t do is “replace quarantine”, just as it doesn’t in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Hawaii, Saudi Arabia, or anywhere else that requires it (at a cost of US$150 -200) during the 14 days of quarantine.

    Given the original source for this information internationally, it may not be 100% accurate.

  25. Avatar


    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    I’d love to see the Covid agency storm into the club at 3am screaming COVID, COOOOVIIID when my heartbeat, temp and blood pressure are through the roof from alcohol, red bull and dancing in a hot, crowded room lol….

  26. Avatar


    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    THAT is a good idea, David. I wonder if they have figured that out yet? If so, expect the cost of one to somewhat cover for the loss of the lolly made by the ASQ caper, etc.

  27. Avatar


    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    If a smart watch could measure blood pressure, the Apple Watch would have that feature, they don’t cause blood pressure must be measured with pressure belt around your arm!

    So that is “fake news”

  28. Avatar


    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    If a smart watch could measure blood pressure, the Apple Watch would have that feature, they don’t cause blood pressure must be measured with pressure belt around your arm!

    So that is “fake news”, and a stupid idea.

  29. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    Just another piece of evidence that the Thai government doesn’t like foreigners – except for the temporary visitor with lots of money. Who, in their right mind, would allow themselves to be tracked like an animal?

    Though a foreigner in the country, I am a resident, rather than a tourist and if I was thinking of a place to vacation, I’d surely choose a country that didn’t treat me like this.

    It’s shameful how the Thai people look at the farang…”Bring me money, big boy, but go home soon!”

  30. Avatar

    reality check

    Monday, November 2, 2020 at 8:27 am

    All you people with negative comments continue to stay in your countries and wonder why the Covid infections continue to go up and deaths as well. I love living in Thailand and feel safe because the government cares about my life more than money like most western countries.

    • Avatar


      Monday, November 2, 2020 at 9:44 am

      LOL…I recommend you to remove your pink glasses and reduce Sam Song intake.

  31. Avatar

    Allen Craig

    Monday, November 2, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Today’s common tech devices already track users’ whereabouts, consumer habits and financial information, this is certainly no worse.

    In fact, it’s just a problem with marketing.

    Add shopping capabilities and messaging services, a logo (real or fake) from Apple or Samsung, put a $1000 price tag on it and promote it as the latest “must have” tech gadget for all the many suckers who spend money on that garbage in their desperate attempt to divert every waking moment from having to interact with other humans in any social capacity. You’ve got a winner!

  32. Avatar


    Monday, November 2, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    it is a blatant violation of human rights, of course. time 2 days, it will be scrapped.

  33. Avatar


    Monday, November 2, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    Let’s see this was from the same brain trust that wanted to insert micro chips in Fighting CXck during the bird flu problem…

  34. Avatar

    Joseph McKee

    Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 12:55 am

    TIT !!! Follow the money. It’s not about monitoring you or your health. It’s about the cash.

  35. Avatar


    Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 11:21 am

    So, you want me to replace a $1000 Garmin with cheap garbage (at whatever cost) so my every move, no – literally every beat of my heart, can be tracked by the Govt?

    This is not just unappealing, it is frankly insulting.

    As Thailands economy spirals into the dust, remember you drove us away and we took our money with us.

  36. Avatar

    Ronald D.

    Friday, November 6, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    Loving this!!

    Thailand’s economy is rushing like a runaway train towards imminent collapse, anti-government protests are growing, Thai Airways is desperate to sell 34 old ‘As Is’ planes in a world where every airline is struggling, and millions of Thais are now unemployed with another 10 million projected to be unemployed by early next year.

    Meanwhile, the Thai government wants to tag and track tourists. Good luck with that. Me, and 40 million other tourists, will go elsewhere 🙂

  37. Avatar


    Sunday, November 22, 2020 at 6:06 am

    The same brain trust that call it on the birdflu and wanted to micro chip …fighting cocks.. to track their movements as well.

  38. Avatar

    Daniel Marquez

    Monday, November 30, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    I’ll definitely rent a Thai Hammer to check the quality.

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