Out in Japan at the end of next month, U-Mate's Lap-Around-Japan pedometer is a novel idea to get people walking. Instead of noting the same old landmarks (skyscraper, dog toilet, convenience store, interminable roadworks, pervy builders, etc. etc.) the miles you cover are transposed into miles around the japanese coastline. The device also keeps you entertained on your journey by acting as a kind of geographic Wikipedia for you. Confused? Read on.
Let's say you walk a kilometre and a half to work every morning, and then the same distance back home in the evening. The U-Mate device will convert your three city kms into three coastline kms, starting from the closest part of the coast to your real location. As you walk, little factoids will pop up on the screen about local sights, history and produce.
With over 17,500 kms of coastline, the makers of the U-Mate reckon it would take around 30 years for a virtual circumnavigation of the country if your daily commute was one and a half kms. [Kilian-Nakamura]