AirPods is one of the first truly wireless earbuds and a game-changer in every sense. The small size of AirPods means that it can get misplaced very easily. We have seen instances of AirPods being dropped in weirdest of the places, including subway tracks. Japan has come up with a solution that helps retrieve AirPods and other small things fallen in public places.
East Japan Railways had issues with traditional grabbers that were not suitable for retrieving small items. Thus they developed a new cleanup device that would help retrieve AirPods and other valuables. The Railway authorities have partnered with Panasonic and come up with a long-necked vacuum cleaner.
The problem of dropping small items on the railway track is pretty widespread in Japan. The East Japan Railway Co says there were more than 950 reports of wireless earbuds dropped into the tracks at different Tokyo stations. These reports were registered between July and September of this year. Typically, staffers are tasked with retrieving the items without waiting for the cleaning staff. Once done, the cleaning staff can sweep the entire track clear without worrying about wireless earbuds or other expensive things.
Before this, the Japan Railway staffers depended on grabber devices with a claw at one end. This is effective for retrieving larger objects but failed miserably when it comes to smaller items like wireless earbuds. East Japan Railways and Panasonic created a cordless vacuum cleaner with a narrow neck. This allows the device to retrieve items from narrow places like crevices or in-between rocks. Furthermore, the device can be operated by staffers from the station platform. The end features a series of narrow tubes that hold the device with the help of suction.[via JapanTimes]