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Softbank helps drunks find missing cellphones, moms locate kids

Here in Japan, Softbank Mobile - the brand Vodafone Japan transformed into last year - is about to launch a service that will surely appeal to the nation’s legendary drunken Friday-night salarymen who seem to have a habit of leaving their phones anywhere but their pockets.

The company’s new ‘Ichi Navi’ service uses the GPS chips embedded in many Softbank phones to trace missing handsets online via a PC interface. Phones have to be registered in advance and there’s a ¥210 ($1.70) monthly charge plus ¥5.25 (4c) per search, but this is bound to be a life saver many times over for the typical corporate warrior on a bender.

Search results yield either a Yahoo Map location result so the phone can be retrieved, or a message saying whatever the Japanese is for “We think it’s in the toilet, pal.”

More prosaically, Softbank is also soft selling Ichi Navi as a way for concerned parents to keep track of their kids at all times.

(Crossposted to Tech.co.uk)

04:04 AM JMLH • Permalink
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