Social Networking Hardware

OK, check this out. As the population ages, many elderly people end up living in “isolation” for lack of a better word. As friends and loved ones pass away, often the elderly end up alone.

Social Netorking to the rescue! Here’s a piece of hardware to plug in to stay plugged in. The Japanese i-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.

Apparently the makers of the i-POT originally conceived of the idea after some tragic deaths in the community. Since making tea and soup is so much a part of the daily routine, having the ability to know that the routine is still happening is a way of checking up on family members and friends remotely.

I still find it a bit freaky that it might be used as a life signs monitor of sorts, but that might just be me… What do you think about this one?

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