By David Ponce

We’re not sure whether to love or hate this thing but it seems that since May 21st, train riders in Japan have the dubious privilege of being able to use their cellphones to access some advertising by simply placing it next to the handles they use to stay upright. Using Japan’s version of NFC, FeliCa, riders of the Tokyo Ginza and Marunouchi subway lines can easily access a URL for the system’s client, travel agency HIS. And in a bid to assuage privacy fears, no personal information is collected in the process; the data is transmitted in one direction, from the strap to the phone.

So, we dig that the Japanese are experimenting with NFC and novel ways of delivering data across short distances (especially given that QR codes don’t seem to be taking off), but we’re a little sad that it always seems to be related to an advertising campaign of some sort. There’s no word on whether this would ever come stateside.

VIA [UberGizmo ]