Where does good customer service end and Big Brother begin?
From the story below, it seems that the emphasis in Japan is well and truly on the former.
I'd like to see them try and introduce something like this in the UK, however!
(no seriously, there are some right miserable lumps on our trains these days...)
How much should firms be allowed to monitor their staff during working hours? Does it matter if you're being watched by a robot, rather than human, boss? What role can machines play in delivering feedback/training?
Once these were questions for companies of the future. Now they're questions for companies of the present. So what do you think?
Rail staff face 'smile police'
A Japanese rail firm has introduced a system to check that staff are smiling enough at all times.
Computerised scanners around 15 Tokyo stations will measure the smile's curvature to ensure it is broad enough.
Those failing to measure up - literally - will be advised to look less serious and more cheerful.
The system will also be introduced at a hospital in Osaka to check staff friendliness and at a truck stop to measure the tiredness of drivers.
The BBC's Roland Buerk, in Tokyo, says that the Japanese highly value customer service.
It is standard practice, our correspondent explains, for smartly-dressed train conductors to bow as customers enter and leave train carriages.
The software has been developed by Japanese firm Omron.
They suggests that future applications may include shops - where they could be positioned to measure the reaction of customers to products on display.