Sonrisas en los trenes japoneses

"Escáner de sonrisas"
Image caption Se instalan "escáneres de sonrisas" en estaciones de Tokio.

Smiles all around on Japan trains

In Tokyo, some of the busiest railway stations in the world have installed computerised 'smile scanners' to help employees deliver a better service.

Reporter: Roland Buerk in Tokyo

Listen to the story

Tokyo has some of the busiest train stations in the world. But now passengers can be assured of a friendly welcome from staff no matter how hard-pressed they are thanks to technology.

The computerised 'smile scanner' works by calculating the optimum curvature of the lips. Those with a low score are given words of advice, such as, 'you look to serious'. The idea is that workers maintain their computer-approved grins throughout the day.

Although the railway company says the smile scan system is not compulsory, all staff at the station have used it.

Taichi Takahashi from Keihin Express Railway: I don't think we've had that much opportunity to stare at our faces that closely and for that long to check our facial expressions. The employees say the scan has helped them check their facial expressions, which helped them communicate more effectively with the customers.

So far the smile scanners have been installed at 15 train stations on the company's network, leaving grumpy workers with few places to hide.

Roland Buerk, BBC News, Tokyo

Listen to the words

no matter no importa (en qué apuros estén)

hard presseden apuros

computerised computerizado

scanner escáner (de sonrisas) optimum óptima

curvaturecurvatura (en este caso, la forma de la sonrisa) maintain their computer-approved grins mantienen las sonrisas que "aprueba" la computadora compulsory obligatorio

facial expressions expresiones faciales

grumpy gruñones