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Dropped Your AirPods While Boarding the Metro? Panasonic's New Vacuum Device Will Get it Back

Dropped Your AirPods While Boarding the Metro? Panasonic's New Vacuum Device Will Get it Back

Panasonic and Japan Railway has announced a new partnership that aims to prevent commuters from putting their lives at risk, while trying to retrieve their precious wireless earbuds.

While true wireless earbuds are certainly the future, they do present a particularly irksome risk — if you're not careful at all times, they might just fall off your ears at the worst possible moment. One such moment that appears to be rather frequent in Japan is while boarding trains on the metro line, and authorities took note of commuters putting their lives at risk to retrieve their precious earbuds. This is certainly not a regional phenomenon, and likely impacts many other nations around the world. If you, like many others, accidentally dropped your fancy new Apple AirPods while boarding the metro, there's some good news for you — Panasonic has a new vacuum cleaner-like device that is designed to help railway authorities get them back.

The device has been premiered in partnership with Japan Railways East, and is presently being tested at the Ikebukuro station in North Tokyo. According to data published by Japan Times, at least 950 pairs of AirPods and other true wireless earbuds were dropped at 78 stations within just three months between July and September 2020 — a number that may have been even higher had the pandemic not made at least some of us work from home. This rather high frequency of dropping the earbuds has been noticed by authorities worldwide, leading to Panasonic unveiling the new vacuum device. The key premise is to stop commuters from putting their lives at a serious risk, where people were jumping on to rail tracks in order to retrieve their earbuds.

While true wireless earbuds offer the convenience of having a completely wireless personal audio experience, issues about their fit have often been debated. The Apple AirPods, for instance, has been benchmark true wireless earbuds that set the pace for the rest of the industry to follow. However, unlike more snug-fitting earbuds, the AirPods have been questioned for being somewhat at risk for falling off. Now, if that happens to you while you board the metro, you may soon have authorities with a vacuum cleaner device to help you retrieve your expensive earbuds, all without risking yourself on rail tracks.


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