"Smile for the camera" takes on a new meaning, as one Japanese train company requires its employees to check their smiles ahead of work.
Keihin Electric Railways staff must face a "grin-o-meter", which ensures they have the look to keep customers happy. The system displays and measures smiles, allowing staff to tweak facial grins using a "Smile Scan" system.
Helpful hints include "Your smile's getting better, just a bit more," or even "Smile like you're happy!", which staff say allows them go from fake smiles to a more natural grin.
[Asami Takahashi, Station Employee]:
"Using the Smile Scan system is especially useful for everyday customer interaction. It really helps with making a natural smile."
Keihin adapted the technology from Omron, which makes rail ticket gates and was only too happy to loan Smile Scan to its clients.
[Sarah Hall, Omron Representative]:
"We were able to use it, to implement it at Keihin for staff training. So right now it's being used by railway staff to make sure they're responding to customers appropriately, and cheerfully."
The software is also used at 14 other stations, a hospital, and even a truck stop to measure if operators are alert enough to drive. While for the 107 employees at Keihin's Shinagawa Station, business is indeed beaming.
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