In many countries, you can find signs on buses and trains that lets commuters know that should they encounter someone elderly, or a parent with a young child, or someone who’s handicapped, or a pregnant woman, that they should offer them a seat. Over in Japan, however, it seems that they have decided to go about this in a more hi-tech manner using an app.
Working together, Tokyo Metro and chat app LINE have announced a new feature that is meant to help pregnant women find seats on trains. The app will now feature a button called “I wish to sit” in its app, where tapping on it will attempt to locate a LINE user in close proximity who has pre-registered themselves to give up their seat should they be alerted to do so.
What this means is that instead of commuters trying to figure out if they should give up their seat, this app makes it clearer and does it in a rather subtle way. Interestingly enough this isn’t the first time that we’re seeing something like this in Japan. Many years ago Japan used badges that women could attach to their clothing or bags to indicate that they are pregnant (sometimes it isn’t always obvious, especially in the early stages of pregnancy).
This achieved the same thing that LINE is trying to do, except in perhaps a more low-tech fashion. LINE is one of the country’s most popular apps so it makes sense that Tokyo Metro would use it.