Hmm. Maybe it was just the bank in Nagoya that I was stuck using. They weren't very big on being convenient, but it makes sense that the larger chains are.I have to take back my previous complaint. The HTC Hero and Touch Pro 2 don't have the Felica chip that stores E-money. I like using my keitai to conveniently pay my train fares and convenience store purchases by just waving it over a scanner. I'll just have to wait for the Sony-Ericsson Experia 2, but that's not scheduled for release til next year.
As for heaters, most homes have the integrated air conditioner/heater w/multifunctions and remote control. Electric kotatsus are common, too, and most space heaters are electric, too.
Internet banking has been here for awhile. You can even do your banking on your keitai. Sony Bank is exclusively Internet banking (don't know which atm's it uses). 7 Bank is Internet banking with 7/11's convenience store atms. MUFJ Bank also has Internet banking along with its large network of atms. I would bet Mizuho does, too.
An Actroid is a humanoid robot and android with strong visual human-likeness developed by Osaka University and manufactured by Kokoro Company Ltd. (the animatronics division of Sanrio). It was first unveiled at the 2003 International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo, Japan. Several different versions of the product have been produced since then. In most cases, the robot's appearance has been modeled after an average young woman of Japanese descent.
The Actroid woman is a pioneer example of a real machine similar to imagined machines called by the science fiction terms android or gynoid, so far used only for fictional robots. It can mimic such lifelike functions as blinking, speaking, and breathing. The "Repliee" models are interactive robots with the ability to recognise and process speech and respond in kind.
But I wouldn't say that for other countries the technology isn't THERE, it's more that they're just not using it for that stuff.
Then there’s the evolution of technology. In the past, Japan got by stuffing the fastest processor in new products. Although the hardware used in Japanese consumer electronics is still better than the majority offered by foreign manufacturers, the market has changed. The future lies not in hardware, but in software: things like GPS, applications, connectivity and a slick user interface, not in 1 billion megapixel cameras or in 3.2 GHz octo-core processors. Japanese firms have refused to adapt this new business model and have consequently taken multiple hits to their bottom line.