We've heard a lot over the last couple of years about RFID chips in phones being used as electronic cash, but a new development being trialled now might get the chips stopping us from getting lost too.

The wireless technology appears in a street-mapping service being tested by Hitachi in Tokyo's busy Ginza shopping district.

Touch and go

Two 47-inch touch-sensitive LCD screens mounted on the walls of Ginza subway station display interactive maps of the surrounding area showing everything from banks and post offices to specific addresses on demand.

With 32 exits from the station, it's easy to see how finding anything might be tricky, so the route-planning functions are clearly handy. However, the system has one more trick up its sleeve.

Take it away

Users with RFID-equipped phones can touch them to a panel at the side of each screen and receive a copy of the map and route they can take with them en route to their destination.

If the trial proves more useful than traditional paper maps on the walls, we could see it expanded before long.