Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Future and Technology: Digital Money, a Way of Life

I don`t even remember the last time I bought a bus ticket or a train ticket, or used coins for a drink machine.  The technology isn`t all that new in Japan, it`s not even cutting edge.  But it`s become part of the way of life.  Touch and Go!  Just tap the card and you don`t have to worry about counting your money or having to go buy a ticket.   This really helps when you are rushing to catch that last train!

SUICA card being scanned to buy a drink
If you look at the photo above you will see that I have a SUICA card.  I charge it at a terminal with cash and then use it as digital money for my transportation mostly, but I also use it to buy food and other items at stores that offer the SUICA service.  There are other digital currencies available for cell phones and other cards types, but SUICA is no doubt the most-widely used being the first of its kind to appear in 2001.

It is interesting to see how technology is driven by our need for convenience.  Life is fast-paced in urban Japan, and so technology plays a big role in saving time and providing convenience to the population.

When I was growing up, I remember thinking about the idea of digital currency and wondering if I would really see it in my lifetime.  Well the future is now and I`m actually living it out!
blog ping