McCann Health Japan, part of the Worldgroup network, has announced the launch of an app, ‘TRAIN’ing, developed in collaboration with East Japan Railway Company, and Fitness Club JEXER. The app aims to “Transform trains from a place of travel into a place for growth”, addressing the increasing need of society for better health management.

The smartphone application has been developed for use on the Yamanote-line trains in Tokyo using geofencing technology. It provides voice-guided personalised ‘TRAIN’ing programs in response to user needs such as physical training or mental training as mindfulness.

The Yamanote Line circles central Tokyo. It stops at many of the city’s largest stations and connects with numerous other train and subway systems.

This application was developed under the supervision of health fitness programmers and fitness instructors from Fitness Club JEXER, and offers authentic training programs that can be completed over standard journey time. This provides added value to train travel – a method of transport that is used by over 13 million people every day in metropolitan Tokyo and is a representation of the arrival of the era of MaaS (Mobility as a Service).

The features on the app will help “train” the body and mind whilst on the move. It transforms trains from a place for travel into a place for growth by providing transport with physical training and mental training as mindfulness.

It will have personalised programmes according to train conditions by leveraging geofencing technology installed in the carriages which allows the app to provide optimal training programmes to each user considering travel time, boarding location and congestion status of the train.

The user’s training history is visualised in the app using graphs and badges – such as station badges – which can be collected. This encourages further motivation and may lead the user to go visit a place they have never been before.

Over 80 ‘TRAIN’ing programmes were developed including muscle training, stretching exercises and mindfulness meditations. The user can select either “Seat” “Pole” or “Strap” as their ambient “‘TRAIN’ing gear” depending on where they are in the train carriage, and the app will automatically generate the best program for each user according to their location and needs.

The J-Beacon technology installed in the latest Yamanote Line E235 series are combined with location and date/time information to calculate the user’s boarding location, travel route and alighting location to enable the smartphone app to offer a personalised training program optimal for the user. Geofencing uses beacons and GPS to create a virtual geographic boundary using location information, enabling the app to deliver particular contents when the user enters or leaves that particular area.

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