Archive for April, 2008
Things I packed today:
- cufflings (what my son uses to fasten his French cuffs)
- banging suit (what my daughter wears to the beach)
- o-ganki des (a toddler’s blankie)
- twenty white shirts, folded with great care and tension (note to self: make appointment for massage upon arrival)
- an entire rainbow of Crocs (red, brown, purple, green, pink, blue, white, and black)
Nine people. Eleven days. There’s very little floor visible in this house tonight. (Tread lightly on the duffle bags, please.)
Seen in Tokyo:
Suddenly, I’m not that thirsty.
Seen in a Tokyo hotel:
The lobby is fully carpeted. The elevator call button panel has an extra little section between the UP and DOWN buttons: touch the metal plate here to discharge static electricity buildup before pressing the button.
Imagining the events leading to the decision to install the enhanced panel makes me laugh!
Shibuya’s main intersection:
The pedestrian overcrossings form an elegant full four-way crosswalk right over the street. Here’s a stairway detail:
There are stairs with integrated ramps in Jerusalem, too (to help mothers pushing strollers). My friend calls them “suicide ramps”. This is such a long one that it does look suicidal. Yow.
Seen in Tokyo:
A pair of bumper sticker-type ads on the train doors:
+ Touch Sensor = Softbank
+ Motion Sensor = Softbank
That’s interesting to me. Not so much that Softbank is pushing a touch- and motion-sensitive phone (whoever isn’t doing that already will be soon), but that they are pushing the technology inside. Both touch and motion sensing have been around for a long time; now there is a sense [!] that consumers care that those capabilities are inside the box, much as they care about WiFi, a TV tuner, or GPS.
Wow, times have changed. Do I attribute this to the iPhone Effect? You betcha.
Seen in Hong Kong:
Infrared touch matrix retrofitted to a display to create touchscreen input for airport information. It worked pretty well, although the display wasn’t too crisp. (The IR bars were a little loose, which had some interesting effects.)
When you choose a desired gate or location, the map shows your location, then shows an arrow moving its way through the terminal to the goal.
The following advice appears on the frame:
Step 1: Pick up the public phone nearby.
Step 2: Press the Home button.
Step 3: Press the Contact Airport Operator button for assistance.
There is, in fact, a pay phone just adjacent to the display:
See the Home button? Me neither. How about the Contact Airport Operator button? Uh huh.
(I wonder what the “Broadband Payphone” business is about?)
I just received a congratulatory email from a frequent flier program celebrating that I have earned a higher tier of membership. Which means I traveled a lot this year. Which means I was away from my family a lot this year.
I suspect they are happier about this than I am.
Seen in Hong Kong:
It’s a nice touch to let you know how long it might take to get through the terminal. On the other hand, if you’re really tired you might just give up now.
Seen in Incheon Airport, South Korea:
Absolutely impossible to photograph… the passport control lines at Incheon airport near Seoul, S. Korea. It’s usual in many countries for there to be a line dedicated to processing airline crew members quickly, and for officials to also take the handicapped, families with children, and VIPs through there occasionally when the line is empty.
This one’s funny, though: the lane on the right is marked for Diplomats and Crew (with a symbol indicating also Handicapped). The lane just left of it has a large LCD display which seems to indicate that Investors (and the handicapped) should line up there. Hm. Special treatment for investors?! :) If only it said “Inventors”, instead.