E-bracelets issued to Saudi pilgrims following deadly stampede

The Mecca festival (Reuters)
The Mecca festival (Reuters)

Saudia Arabia has started issuing 'e-bracelets' to those undertaking the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, set to begin on Friday.

This advanced measure is being taken following a stampede during the event in 2015, which led to the death of over 2,400 people.

The devices, made from plasticised paper, each carry a barcode which is able to be scanned by a smartphone.

This would allow authorities to determine the identity and nationality of the pilgrim, as well as gain information about their  visa status and place of lodging in Mecca.

Issa Rawasm, the Saudi vice secretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, said that the aim of the device is to "equip all pilgrims," with over 1.4 million expected to arrive for the holy festival.

The bracelets act almost like a digital passport, and only cost two riyals each (NZ$0.73).

The plan to distribute these devices amongst pilgrims was first announced in June, with the Saudi Press Agency confirming they would be water-resistant and contain important personal information.

Hajj is an annual pilgrimage to Mecca which must be carried out at least once in the life of each Muslim.