You know what my cell phone does? Make calls.
File this under "Cool as shit". in Tokyo, commuters can now simply swipe their mobile phones at the turnstile to ride the train.
See, I know mobile technology is pretty behind the curve here in the US - to the best of my knowledge, you can't buy soda or naughty music videos just using your mobile. And even then, I'm boggled by the ability to send and take photographs, and enable stalkers. Hell, until late last year, I owned a clunker of a phone that couldn't send text messages and I thought it was so fucking cool that the the screen had a blue backlight. Blue! So the idea of the phone as a Metrocard substitute is simply unfathomable to me.
Granted, the phone swiping thing only works on Japan Rail, just one of many transit companies that operate in Tokyo, and you have to be a DoCoMo subscriber. But it's another reminder about how far behind we are in New York, where trains essentially run on a late 19th Century signal system, tokens were used less than a decade ago and they're just now considering contactless payment system.
tags: mobile technology Japan mass transit subway