Japan’s Zojirushi Corp. is offering a way to monitor the elderly. The San Jose Mercury News reports:
But more and more Japanese these days are like Kijima: elderly and living alone. Still, Kijima, 83, a widower with no children, does have someone watching out for him via a bit of technology embedded in his kitchen.
His electric kettle, an “i-pot” (for information pot), not only boils water for his instant miso soup and green tea but it also records the times he pushes a button and dispenses the water. A wireless communication device at the bottom of the i-pot sends a signal to a server. Members of the service can see recent records of i-pot usage on a Web site. In addition, twice a day the server e-mails the most recent three usage times to a designated recipient.
For Kijima, that recipient is neighbor Tadahiro Murayama. “Once, I didn’t use the i-pot for a day, and I got a phone call from Mr. Murayama,” Kijima said. The i-pot, he said, helps him feel he’s not alone.
Electronics maker Zojirushi began the service four years ago. The company rents the pot for a $50 deposit and charges $30 a month for e-mail and Internet service.
In the picture above the inset demonstrates the built-in data communication transmitter. To see how the system works see the illustration on this Japanese page. Pretty nifty indeed. This is one of those smart appliances we’ve been waiting to finally arrive at the martket.
Zojirushi Corp’s website in Japanese…