A location-based services trial that will see a famous Tokyo neighborhood blanketed with about 10,000 RFID tags and other beacons got its start earlier this month.  The Tokyo Ubiquitous Network Project seeks to install RFID, infrared and wireless transmitters throughout Tokyo's Ginza area, which is the most famous shopping area in the capital. The tags and transmitters will provide location-related information to people carrying prototype readers developed for the trial, said Ken Sakamura, a professor at the University of Tokyo and the leader of the project.

The terminal being used in the Ginza trial has been developed by Tokyo's Ubiquitous Computing Technology Center. It features a 3.5-in. OLED (organic light-emitting diode) touch-panel display and a host of networking interfaces. There is RFID, infrared and 429-MHz wireless for interacting with the beacons in the trial, a wireless LAN for connection to the Internet and a Bluetooth link.

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