Innovations for Older People

Today’s Huffington Post featured, “5 Things We Can Learn About Aging Well From Japan” which highlights innovations Japan is testing or has implemented to help older people.  The two innovations that sparked my interest the most are:

Fujitsu Prototype Walking Stick

Photo Source: BBC News

Fujitsu Smart Walking Stick

When my dad was what I’ll call a youthful old person, in his 80s, he liked to walk by a creek near his home.  I always worried that he would fall and nobody would find him since he walked alone.  This smart walking stick would have alleviated some of my concerns.  It’s only in prototype but sounds promising.

  • LED display on top of the walking stick to show which direction to go
  • GPS, 3G and WiFi
  • Vibrates to change direction
  • Tracks the location of the user and can contact someone if the user falls down
  • Monitors heart rate and temperature and can contact emergency services


Aeon Senior Friendly Shopping Center

Things like shopping do get more difficult with age.  When I take my dad shopping it seems like an obstacle course at times…from finding handicap parking, to product displays sticking out ready to trip over, to products out of reach.  The Japanese store Aeon has some smart features.

  • Larger price tags
  • Slower escalator
  • Bifocals that can be made in one day
  • Beauty products favored by older women

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