We’re just back from Japan and the 2012 Honda Meeting, which unveiled a slew of technologies and items that are set to make their way into production models, some in the near future, some further down the road.

The event – held at the company’s Tochigi R&D facility – had plenty to offer, and we’ll start things off with a vehicle that advances the Micro Commuter Concept introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show last year.

The Micro Commuter Prototype is a micro-sized short distance EV commuter, sitting on what Honda calls a Variable Design Platform. At Tochigi, the vehicle was showcased in a one plus two-seater configuration, or a parent-and-two-children package, if you will.

Measuring in at 2,500 mm long, 1,250 mm wide and 1,445 mm tall, the ultra compact has a 15 kW output and offers a range of around 60 km. Other numbers include an 80 km/h max speed and a charge time of under three hours for its Li-ion battery pack.

The Variable Design Platform positions components such as the battery, motor and control unit under the floor and in the rear space to concentrate the vehicle driving functions into a compact space, in essence allowing a body and interior to accommodates various uses and customers’ needs.

Other features include the use of a user-owned tablet device (at Tochigi, seen in Android form, but there are provisions for the iPad) for the application of functions such as meter display and navigation, as well as doubling up as a back-up camera display and audio system controller.

The MCP has solar cells mounted on its roof, and the power produced from it charges the tablet. In the absence of a tablet device, the vehicle’s integrated display offers basic readout information, such as speed, odometer and battery/charge status.

The company says it will begin demonstration testing in Japan next year, and the evaluation process is set to verify the potential of the vehicle in various uses, including supporting everyday short-distance transportation for families with small children and for senior citizens, home delivery services, commuting and car sharing.