Tokyo subways to test how mobile content affects passengers

Tokyo Metro, which runs the underground trains in the city, will test how riders react to a new mobile portal

Tokyo's subways will soon offer a new mobile app with free Wi-Fi access, then track if the information it provides changes passenger habits.

Tokyo Metro, which operates the city's subway system, said the new portal service will act as an online subway guide that updates automatically as passengers move between stations. It will provide schedules, station maps, and information on crowded areas and which train cars to board for the best access, as well as news and "entertainment information."

The company said it will test whether passengers react to the different types of information it provides. A Tokyo Metro spokesman said it has not yet determined exactly the ways it will track passengers.

In addition to access to information provided by the app and Wi-Fi connections, Tokyo Metro also has access to data from its ticket gates in stations across the city. Many riders use NFC touch-card technology built into their mobile phones in place of train tickets and passes.

The service will begin as a trial, running from Thursday through the end of July. It is called "MANTA," short for "Metro Amusement Network Trinity App," and will be accessible through mobile apps for Android and iOS.

As part of the trial, Tokyo Metro will provide free Wi-Fi for accessing the app. The Wi-Fi can also be used in short bursts for browsing and mail between trains, providing 15-minute connections up to five times per day.

The free Wi-Fi will initially be offered at some of Tokyo's famous stations, then gradually expanded during the trial. The first stations to get it will include Akihabara, Roppongi, and Shinjuku, as well as all stops on the often-crowded Ginza line.

Tokyo Metro said the Japanese app will also include English, Korean, and Chinese versions. It will be available initially for Android devices, with an iOS version to follow soon after.

Japan's major carriers have recently begun offering cellular service on underground rail systems in major cities. Some longer train routes offer paid Wi-Fi services, including some of the overland "Bullet Trains" that run the length of the nation.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetpopular scienceindustry verticalstransportationTokyo Metro

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?