One of the biggest fear for people who have bought — or intend to buy — Apple AirPods is losing them. While the AirPods do offer a comfortable and snug fit, they aren’t immune to drops and falls. And with drops, you never know where the AirPods might end up. Take the case of Japan, where not just AirPods but the dropping of all kinds of wireless earbuds has become quite a problem.
According to a report by CultofMac (via The Japan Times), there have been about 850 cases of people dropping their wireless earbuds at 78 stations in the Tokyo area between July and September. The dropped items are often asked by passengers to be retrieved. East Japan Railway Co. or better known as JR East has partnered with Panasonic to “to develop a vacuum cleaner-type device that picks up dropped earphones,” states the report.
The testing of the device is already underway at the Ikebukuro station and it works a lot faster than a regular grabber tool. Officials at the station, as per the report, often look for the dropped items after the last trains of the day have stopped running. A JR East official was quoted as saying that “it’s burdensome to collect the dropped earbuds.”
The report shows a video that features the AirPods as being dropped by passengers at the stations. Commuters often drop wireless earbuds while boarding or de-boarding the trains and even while waiting on the platform. Till now, the officials at the station have been using a grabber tool to pick up objects that fall onto the rail tracks. However, in the case of wireless earbuds like the AirPods, it becomes difficult to pick up from the tool as they often stuck among the gravel, added the report.