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Japanese printing company Shunkosha has recently released a new product called Strappy, a subway strap cover that contains a FeliCa reader, an NFC reader that allows passengers with compatible phones (over 70 million in Japan) to interact through touch.
Strappy functions as a platform for marketing communications, meaning that by touching your phone to the cover, train passengers have their phones directed to a URL to receive information, coupons, videos, or whatever else you decide to put on there.
Strappy’s technology is simple, but is a taste of what’s coming down the road. Until recently, there was not consistent mobile data available in the subways in-between stations, but now that it’s more prevalent it’s possible to take advantage of NFC and provide interesting touchpoints for a captive audience. In this case, the first test fun of 15 days is featuring travel company H.I.S. and is being executed on the Ginza and Marunouchi lines.