Japan’s Shinkansen bullet trains (well, some of them) are going to be upgraded with booths suitable for video conferencing to aid the working professionals while they are commuting, as per a report by The Register. Making way for the special ‘Zooming’ cabins or cars, whichever you prefer, will be the smoking rooms in the trains that have lost their use after smoking on trains was banned last year. Nevertheless, the space is still there and it looks like the Central Japan Railway Company wants the business travellers not to miss out on any important meetings while they are travelling.
The ‘Zoom-booths’ or ‘Zoom-cabins’ have a name: “S-Work vehicle”. They will be offered in some of the Shinkansen trains only and come with not the normal speed WiFi that is already there for other passengers, but double the speed of that. You even get a mouse, a laptop privacy screen and a pillow to keep your laptops on for the duration of the journey. As per the report, this service will only be offered on a couple of routes, and in one type of Shinkansen: the N700S tilting train. The particular train, the report adds, can touch 300km/h on the Tokaido/Sanyo route.
The Central Japan Railway Company has even laid out the details and things passengers need to know before boarding the video conferencing-special cabin on its website. Here are the guidelines and other details about the special S-Work vehicle, straight from the horse’s mouth (with some help from Google Translate)
“It (the S-Work cabin) is a vehicle that assumes that customers who use it for the same purpose of business can proceed with their work without hesitation.
Please allow each other to accept the minimum work sounds such as the sound of keystrokes on a personal computer, the sound of a mobile phone, and the sound of a web meeting. It will be set to car 7 (reserved seats for ordinary cars) of Nozomi on the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen.It may not be set, such as during the year-end and New Year holidays. Reservations can be made up to 4 minutes before the train departure time on the day of boarding. After purchase, you can change your reservation as many times as you like before the train departure time.”