Tokyo subway straps beam ads to your smartphone

(Credit:
Shunkosha)

Subways in Tokyo are crowded enough, and they’re plastered with ads on the walls and ads hanging from the ceiling. Sometimes, entire carriages are wrapped in ads outside. Straps are mini-billboards too, but now they’re interactive.

In an experiment that’s been going on for a few weeks, printing company Shunkosha has been deploying its strap covers on parts of the Tokyo subway to prove the effectiveness of Strappy.

Strappy is a boxy little plastic covering that sits over the strap. Many similar strap covers already exist on Tokyo trains, but they’re for old-fashioned analog ads, and sometimes QR ads.

Strappy (PDF) contains a reader for FeliCa, a near-field communications standard in Japan used in contactless smart cards like Pasmo, the Tokyo subway’s rechargeable card.

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