philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


An Activity Tracker for Seniors

The newest wearable device isn’t for fitness fanatics or life loggers. It’s designed for older people who want to stay in their homes. Later this year CarePredict, a startup based in Davie, Florida, will begin shipping its first batch of wearable tracking systems intended to help relatives and other caretakers monitor the activity of older adults for early signs of serious health concerns. The system involves sensors worn on the wrist and stuck to walls inside the home to track activities in different rooms and alert someone of any suspicious changes.

Products that help older customers maintain an independent lifestyle by connecting them with their adult children or other caregivers could tap into a huge market, says Joseph Coughlin, director of the MIT AgeLab. To that end, many groups are working on health-monitoring technologies such as motion-detecting camerasin-floor pressure sensors, and smart watches.


In addition to the wrist-worn activity tracker, the new system includes four peel-and-stick beacons that detect whether someone is in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or living room. The beacons send tracker data to a hub also installed in the home, which then uploads the data to the Internet for analysis and storage.

Adding the location context to the activity data is key, says Movva: “If someone is lying down in the bedroom, then they are probably sleeping. But if someone is lying down in the bathroom, then there is potentially an issue.” The wrist-worn sensor can detect arm movements, body posture, and walking speed.

“Many ideas hit the mark technologically but miss the key ingredients of fashion, fun, and friends,” he says.

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