Japan is converting its bullet trains' smoking rooms into Zoom rooms


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In brief: Anyone who's taken part in a Zoom call on a train will know it can be unpleasant, with noise from other passengers and privacy being major issues. If you want the best Zoom-on-a-train experience, head to Japan, where the smoking rooms on some bullet trains are being converted into "Zooming rooms."

As reported by The Register, the Central Japan Railway Company already offers on-train wi-fi for its passengers. However, with Zoom becoming increasingly popular during the pandemic, it is introducing the "S-Work vehicle."

The service offers several benefits for passengers looking to partake in some video conferencing during their journey. Firstly, the wi-fi speed is double that found on regular trains, which should help immensely.

For those who take a lackadaisical attitude toward their device's battery life, each seat on the train comes with its own charging port—something already provided on trains in several countries.

The railway will even lend passengers a mouse—for those who prefer them to trackpads/touchscreens, presumably—and a privacy screen for laptops. Some laptops already come with this feature, which stops a screen from being visible when viewed from the side, though this version seems to be just side coverings. The company is also offering a laptop tray complete with wrist-rest.

If all that isn't enough privacy, some trains will convert their smoking rooms into Zoom booths. Smoking was banned on Japanese trains in 2020, so this is a good way of utilizing the space.

Only one type of Shinkansen (bullet train) will offer the service—the 186mph N700S tilting train—and it's limited to a couple of routes. Still, Zoom-focused trains are likely to prove popular.

Masthead image: Maridav

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