[I've been completely slack about blogging lately - but with the onset of summer, my schedule should lighten up]
I'm sort of a non-technical technology buff. I read tons of technology blogs and watch all the new gadget reviews on C-NET, but I don't really try to understand all the underlining technological concepts and how the cool stuff I love actually functions - but I'm working on that.
It's pretty common knowledge that technology in the US is nothing compared to Japan. Most notably, I'd say, when it comes to cell phones and wireless technology. Everyone here in the US is freaking out about the "new" 3G-speed services, which still aren't offered in much of the country - but that is old news in Japan, since they introduced 3G speeds back in 2001. While the big thing in the US now is the iPhone and other touch screens, flip-style phones are most common in Japan. 8 megapixel cameras have been features on phones for the past two years in Japan, while the first one in the US was introduced in 2009.
Cell phones go beyond communication devices in Japan as well. Many cellular companies offer links to bank accounts and credit cards, so all you need to do in a store is wave your phone. They're used as bus and subway passes as well.
The coolest thing I've seen up till now is the new Hitachi Wooo, which has a 3D display. You can watch videos, e-mail, surf the net, and even take pictures in 3D. How well the technology actually works is up in the air, since the phone is only available in Japan, and most of the online reviews are in Japanese. Yay for me being single-lingual.