Now they're just making us look bad. Japan was already doing just fine making the US and A look like a technological backwater, what with the crazy phones, 1Seg, and speedy internets, but now they're running a bunch of RFID
trials to further wire their cities and leave us in the dust. Most interesting is a new project in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district, which is getting blanketed with 10,000 RFID tags, along with other "beacons" to help out tourists and shoppers make their way around the area. The system includes a handheld device, featuring a 3.5-inch OLED touchscreen, RFID, infrared, 429MHz wireless (for hooking up with the beacons), WiFi and Bluetooth. After nabbing location data from RFID, the handheld can look up info on the area via the internet for helping the user with directions, store specials and restaurant menus. According to Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, "In every building there are many shops, bars and clubs and it can be difficult to find the one you want. With this you can just push a button and find the where you want to go even if you're drunk!" So there you have it. Even If You're Drunk navigation is headed for its trial in Ginza starting January 21st and will run until March.