What with the recent global swine flu scares, the Japanese are going to throw tech at the problem in hopes to be able to contain a virus in case of a real spread.
According to CNET, an experiment backed by the Japanese government and administered by Softbank Mobile and Tokyo's Ayoma Gakuin University, will test the efficiency of GPS in the event of a pandemic. 1000 studnets will be given iPhone 3GS' and, in a couple a months, a handful will be chosen to be "infected" with a virtual disease.
By tracking their movements via the phone's GPS, officials can then determine who has risked possible contact with the infected students-parents of said students will be sent instructions of how to get them tested, thus helping control the rate of infection.
But as anyone who frequently uses GPS knows, it's not that simple: positioning never works well indoors and its accuracy is only true to a few yards. More importantly, there's the issue of privacy -here in the UK, Joe Public didn't take very kindly to Google Street View or rather excellent GPS app Latitude - which is why another aim of the experiment is to judge how participants feel about being constantly followed.