Keihin Electric Express Railway Co. has introduced a "Smile Scan" system to evaluate the grins of its station staff.
The smile-measuring software has been developed by Kyoto-based precision equipment maker Omron Corp. The device analyzes the facial characteristics of a person, including eye movements, lip curves and wrinkles, and rates a smile on a scale between 0 and 100 percent using a camera and computer.
For those with low scores, advice like "You still look too serious," or "Lift up your mouth corners," will be displayed on the screen.
Some 530 employees of the Tokyo-based railway company will check their smiles with Smile Scan before starting work each day. They will print out and carry around an image of their best smile in an attempt to remember it.
"We aim to improve our services to make our customers smile," says a company official.