News: Apple & Snapchat Use AR to Let You Travel on the New York Subway System via Apple Pay

Apple & Snapchat Use AR to Let You Travel on the New York Subway System via Apple Pay

Many years ago, when I first traveled to Tokyo, Japan, I was amazed by the contactless IC card turnstiles embedded in the county's subway system.

Well, despite New York City also being a top-tier city, its famed subway system has only recently added contactless payment, and Apple is leading the charge, powered in part by augmented reality.

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New York's MTA transit system One Metro New York (OMNY) contactless payment system launched a few years ago and starting adding an Apple Pay option back in 2019.

Now that vaccinations have helped New York open back up in the face of the pandemic, the city is looking to promote subway ridership, which plummeted in 2020.

Images by Adario Strange/Next Reality

To help in this effort, now that the Apple Pay option is available in all 472 subway stations around the city, Apple is working to show riders exactly how to use Apple Pay on the subway through a unique AR experience.

When you visit this page on your Apple iOS device, you can launch a life-sized NYC turnstile, walk through it, and take a trip over the Brooklyn Bridge. As a lifelong NYC subway rider, I can confirm that the virtual experience—even down to the sound design—is incredibly accurate.

Image by Adario Strange/Next Reality

In addition to Apple's AR experience, Snapchat has launched a similar Lens available to those located in New York City.

The Portal to the City Lens also allows you to place an AR subway turnstile in your real-world space, but it comes with the added feature of allowing you to take a trip to various sightseeing destinations throughout the city.

Images by Adario Strange/Next Reality

It's an impressive demonstration of using AR and location to deliver an entirely new kind of marketing experience.

If you want to give the experience a try, even if you're not in New York City, just scan the Snapcode below.

Image via Snap

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Cover image by Adario Strange/Next Reality

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