Even when the elderly are being tended to by a caregiver, it's almost impossible to keep an eye on them 100 per cent of the time. So a Japanese company has developed a pair of LED light bulbs featuring built-in laser-based radar to track the movements of someone in its vicinity, and automatically send alerts when they have fallen or suddenly stopped moving.
The bulbs, which screw or plug into standard overhead fixtures, constantly monitor the occupants in a room, up to 8m away, by bouncing a signal off their heads and measuring how long it takes to return -- basic radar stuff. But by intelligently processing that data, the bulbs can determine if someone has suddenly fallen, or simply just fallen asleep.
The system is apparently even sensitive and smart enough to know when someone has just nodded off by measuring their almost imperceptible movements from breathing. And if at any time there's reason for concern, the bulbs are also connected to a Wi-Fi network so that they can signal for help whenever there's a problem. Pricing for the bulbs hasn't quite been nailed down yet, but they're expected to go on sale in September of next year, so expect more details as we get closer to that date. [Nikkei Technology]