In a large scale experiment the Tokyo Ubiquitous Network Project installed 10,000 RFID, infrared and wireless transmitters throughout Tokyo's Ginza shopping area. The tags and transmitters will provide location-related information to people carrying readers developed for the trial which will start in January and run until March.
The system will be able to provide users with simple navigation and information about the shops and stores in the area in four languages initially: Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. For example, an RFID tag on a street lamp will be able to guide carriers of the readers to the nearest railway station while walking past a radio beacon in front of a shop might bring up details of current special offers or a menu for a restaurant.
The project is supported by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MILT) and is one of several currently taking place in Japan.