Electronic Paper and E Ink create a moving display for the opening of Takanawa Gateway Station

The Yamanote Line is one of the busiest train lines in all of Tokyo, running through some of the most popular tourist spots and connecting passengers to a plethora of other lines along its vast network.

With thousands upon thousands of passengers using the service every day, it’s also the line that attracts some of the most unique advertising you’ll see in Japan, and one ad that surfaced onboard a Yamanote line train recently is testament to this, as it looks like an ordinary advertising poster, only it’s like one many have never seen before.

Twitter user @arclisp captured a video of the ad, and the reason why they chose to share a video and not a still image is because the poster is dynamic, changing from one colour and design to another as if by magic.

Take a look at the clip below:

The ad is being used to promote the upcoming 2020 opening of Takanawa Gateway Station, the first new station to appear on the Yamanote Line since 1971. The Twitter user who shared the video online said she’d never seen anything like this before, commenting, “The era where hanging poster ads on trains are made with E Ink has arrived.

Commenters, however, were quick to note that this type of technology has been around for at least a decade, with one Twitter user recalling this video of a similar ad on the Ginza line back in 2009.

These types of ads are made with “electronic paper”, and the one appearing on the Yamanote Line at the moment is made by Dai Nippon Printing Company using an “E Ink System” that’s said to work on the same principles as electrophoresis, where a negative charge forces matter to move towards a positive charge.

▼ A close-up of the ad reveals what its surface looks like.

This essentially allows one image or colour to change to another, and can be triggered at timed intervals or by a sensor. Some of the amazing ways this technology can be put to use can be seen in this video below:

The clip above shows that the E Ink System can even be used to change the colour of clothing from one shade to another, opening up an exciting new range of possibilities for the fashion world. However, it’s at its most effective when used in advertising, where moving images attract the eye, especially when they appear to be ordinary still images on paper at first glance.

While the technology has been around for a while, a large number of people are yet to see it in real life, and the video of the poster on the Yamanote Line train has since gone viral, with people leaving comments like:

“Omg I thought this was just an ordinary poster.”
“This feels so futuristic, I love it.”
“What is this magic? I’ve never seen anything like it before!”
“What a stylish way to bring attention to an ad.”
“This would totally freak me out if I was standing next to it.”

The E Ink System appears to have successfully captured a lot of attention on people’s daily commutes around Tokyo, and we can’t wait to see more ads like this appear around town.

Still, high-tech ads have a lot of competition to contend with when it comes to onboard advertising on trains, though. After all, this is the country where you can see posters made from actual futons hanging inside trains.

Source: Twitter/@arclisp via Net Lab
Featured image: Twitter/@arclisp
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