Participants will be paid to display advertisements on a special iPad app as they walk around.

With the weather in Japan currently in the fleeting two or so weeks between “unbearably cold” and “unbearably hot and humid“, there’s no better time to go for a nice walk outside. And thanks to a new initiative by a Japanese advertising company, you can literally get paid to do so.

The company, called Wanna Technologies, is offering people up to 1,200 yen (US$9) an hour to walk around Tokyo. Potential walkers will need to download a special app called Stchar and put it in a special Stchar backpack. The backpack includes an iPad-sized pocket with a clear screen, and the Stchar app will display adverts and commercials as you walk around.

▼ A teaser for the Stchar app, which gives an idea of what the backpack looks like

Presently, walkers can only earn money by sticking within a 804-kilometre (500-mile) radius of the statue of Hachiko in downtown Tokyo’s Shibuya district, but the company has plans to expand further in the future. Walkers will not get paid for any walking that takes place outside of the designated radius and the advertisements playing on the screen must be paused upon entering private property like convenience stores and department stores.

The app seems pretty straightforward, though. Once the app has been downloaded, you’ll also need to download the commercial video that you’ll be walking around with. Then, when you’re inside the ‘earning’ zone, click ‘Earn’ and walk around freely. Once you’re done, click ‘Finish Activity’ and your earnings will be instantly credited.

Walkers will be paid using the digital wallet application Kyash. Money in your Kyash wallet can be used at any store that accepts Visa or QUICPay, or can be withdrawn as cash from ATMs.

The Stchar backpacks can be ordered for free on the Stchar website, but at the time of writing are currently sold out, but there are plans to have events at some point in Shibuya where Stchar backpacks and iPads will be lent out for free.

Stchar is just starting out, but who knows? Their backpacks might just become as ubiquitous as Uber Eats.

Source: Stchar via NetLab, Stchar store
Top image: Pakutaso
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