June 14, 2024

A Significant Rise in Lost Wireless Earphones

Wireless earphones are convenient for listening to music and watching videos. Many people find that they can't return to wired earphones once they've used them. As their popularity grows, so does the number of lost items.

According to a survey, keys are the most common lost item, followed by wallets and wireless earphones. In addition to keys and wallets, IC cards and other cards have long been everyday lost items. Now, wireless earphones have also joined the list.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our work and communication habits, leading to a surge in online meetings and a subsequent increase in the use of wireless earphones in the office. The domestic sales volume of these left and right separated earphones in fiscal 2023 has seen a significant 6.5% increase compared to the previous year, reflecting this shift in our daily lives."

According to Keikyu Corporation, a railway company, the number of lost wireless earphones in 2020 was about 1,500. In the most recent year, 2023, it has increased more than fourfold to about 6,200. Keikyu, Keio, JR Kyushu, and others have introduced a " Find " system that allows users to inquire about lost items via the chat app "LINE." When a user enters a lost item's characteristics, serial number, and photo, the system compares it with information on lost items registered in a database.

When station staff report a lost item, they can include a photo taken with a smartphone or another device. Artificial intelligence (AI) will then suggest a category based on the gathered data. This has also lightened the workload for staff, who used to enter all the information manually.

Incidentally, December has the most lost items due to year-end parties and subsequent drinking parties.