smile police

Via slashdot:

More than 500 workers at Japan’s, Keihin Electric Express Railway, must have their faces scanned each morning to determine their optimum smile. The “smile scan” analyzes a smile based on facial characteristics, from lip curves and eye movements to wrinkles. After the program scans you, it produces a smile rating that ranges from zero to 100 depending on the estimated potential of your biggest smile. If your number is sufficient, you can go about your day grinning like a maniac. If your smile number is too low the computer will give you a message such as, “lift up your mouth corners” or “you still look too serious.” Every morning employees receive a print out of their daily smile which they are expected to keep with them throughout the day.

Affective labour much? So instead of giving the workers reason to actually smile, they are policed into performing a smile. On a societal scale, are the Japanese really that suicidal? If this isn’t a factory for the production of serial killers, then I don’t know what is.