Japanese companies are coming up with a number of ways to make aging gracefully a tech-powered breeze, but many senior citizens are still uncomfortable with the idea of strapping on an exoskeleton or using robot companions to make life easier. However, a new device from Fujitsu called the Next Generation Cane may prove to be hit by embedding cutting-edge technology into a familiar form.
The cane is equipped with GPS, allowing the user to program a route and then have that route tracked in real time on a remote computer by a family member. If the user deviates from the, LED arrows appear on the cane to help guide the user in the right direction. There's also a real-time modification component that allows a family member using the associated routing software to direct the user in a new direction if necessary.
In addition to slick LED indicators, the handle of the cane also includes a thumb sensor that can monitor the user's heart rate, sending an alert to the base station, or pre-arranged doctor contact in case the user's heart rate becomes irregular. The cane also has sensors allowing it to measure heat and humidity, an important tool for the elderly in outdoor situations.
You can take a brief look at the Next Generation Cane in action in the video below.