Japan is well-known as a leader in mobile technology and high-tech gadgets. The image of the Japanese kogals (hip schoolgirls) and salarymen (office workers) with their Internet-enabled keitai (mobile phones) roaming the neon-lit entertainment districts of Shinjuku and Shibuya has become shorthand for a mobile computing future to which money-hemorrhaging "third-generation" phone operators in the West can only aspire. Japanese universities and corporations are now putting major research funding toward new applications that go beyond the mobile phone, where computation is embedded in the world, and everything is connected. The idea of ubiquitous computing and networking is so popular…
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