Japan has the world’s oldest society, which apparently makes some companies see unique business opportunities. Sony Japan now decided to introduce [JP, PDF] an IC card system that helps families check where their elderly relatives currently are. The way it works is that the person in question carries a special IC card that can be easily read by special scanners (pictured).
When a cardholder arrives at a place that offers these readers (for example, a city office or a hospital), he or she can “check in” simply by tapping the card on the device. Needless to say, the reader can be installed at homes as well.
Family members who have registered to the service automatically receive an email, which informs them about the whereabouts of their relatives at that time.
Sony plans to launch the service in Japan next month and hopes to sell 30,000 readers per year (price: $1,200). Each registered family member will get charged $3.60 monthly, independent of the number of emails.