For those long train commutes where you don't manage to score a seat but instead are stuck standing up and holding on to a strap while your hand and arm slowly go numb, this game could help take your mind off things.
The design comes from Jiang Qian, who has been dreaming up ways to make public transportation more appealing to the tech-centric riders.
Game Strap would replace those plain old handles on trains, and provide a selection of games for commuters. The game turns on when someone grabs the handle, and games can be played with the rider's free hand that isn't holding on for dear life as the train starts and stops. Classic games like Tetris or maybe even Solitaire can be winners. The game includes an alert for upcoming stations so that riders don't get so wrapped up in the game that they miss their stop.
Okay, it's obvious that keeping these straps in working order would be difficult, not to mention expensive. However, will this make more people feel taking the train is definitely a better option for getting somewhere than driving a car, even during rush hour? It might. (It might also make them far more likely to be pick-pocketed too....)
This design is likely to remain just that, a design, but the idea is pretty cool especially to those of us who are frequent train and bus commuters. After all, the San Francisco bus shelters equipped with games that pitted neighborhoods in competition against each other for the chance at a free concert was definitely a hit among bus riders last year. It made waiting for the bus actually fun, and momentarily, riders forgot about the dismal speed and chronic lateness of Muni in San Francisco.