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QR codes to aid barrier door operation on train platforms

In a world-first, <1> QR codes are being used in the operation of platform <2> safety barriers at train stations — a development aimed at accelerating the installation of barriers and <3> slashing the hefty cost.

The new system also has the advantage of being able to <4> handle trains with different door placements.

Safety barriers to prevent people from falling onto the tracks are being installed on station platforms ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The Tokyo metropolitan government launched a practical demonstration of the new system on the municipal Toei Subway lines last November.

When a train pulls into the Toei Asakusa Line’s Daimon Station in Minato Ward, doors open in a safety barrier that has been temporarily constructed on the platform. Affixed to each train door window is a QR code sticker measuring about 15 centimeters by 15 centimeters. “Cameras installed on the platform read the codes, and the barrier doors located in front of the train doors open and close <5> in unison,” an official of the metropolitan government’s Bureau of Transportation said proudly.

The stickers display a geometric pattern similar to the QR codes that mobile phone users read with their device’s camera to connect to a <6> dedicated website.

The metropolitan government worked with Denso Wave Inc., an Aichi Prefecture-based company that invented QR codes, to develop the world’s first method for operating safety barrier doors that uses QR codes. Trials of the new system began on Nov. 24, 2017.

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