Fujitsu walking cane can lead people to the right location using GPS

Fujitsu new generation cane

Displayed at the Mobile World Congress this week, Fujitsu’s “New Generation Cane” is a futuristic walking stick that’s packed with Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity. Potentially ideal for older grandparents, Fujitsu has built an array of LED lights into the top of the cane that display information related to the correct direction. Assuming a location has been programmed into the PC application that comes with the cane, the top of the cane will display green arrows when the person is walking in the correct location. 

Grandparents on a walkIf the user takes a wrong turn on the trip, the LED lights will transition to red and the cane will start vibrating to indicate an error. The user can look down at the display and watch the large green arrows guide them back to the correct direction. In addition, the GPS functionality and cellular connectivity can be used to track the user’s walking path through the Web application. 

Beyond directional help, the cane also includes a variety of sensors that measure the temperature and humidity of the surrounding environment as well as the heart rate of the user. Hypothetically, a relative could monitor the health of the user and reprogram the device remotely to divert them to a location to rest and cool off. This could also be useful in the hospital environment, specifically for monitoring people that are encouraged to get out of bed and walk around the building for light bouts of exercise. 

At the moment, the current prototype has a battery life between two to three hours. Fujitsu will likely need to extend the battery life in future iterations of the cane, however Fujitsu could simply encourage users to limit the cane’s use to sporadic outings rather than everyday use. Fujitsu did not announce a price on the advanced device and there’s no information on a launch date at this time. As with any device in the prototype stage, it’s entirely possible that the cane won’t be manufactured. 

Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Mobile

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.
Wearables

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.
Wearables

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.
Mobile

Apple's iOS 12.1.1 makes it easier to switch cameras in FaceTime

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Rise of the Machines: Here’s how much robots and A.I. progressed in 2018

2018 has generated no shortage of news, and the worlds of A.I. and robotics are no exception. Here are our picks for the most exciting, game changing examples of both we saw this year.
Emerging Tech

Parker Solar Probe captures first image from within the atmosphere of the sun

NASA has shared the first image from inside the atmosphere of the sun taken by the Parker Solar Probe. The probe made the closest ever approach to a star, gathering data which scientists have been interpreting and released this week.
Emerging Tech

Say cheese: InSight lander posts a selfie from the surface of Mars

NASA's InSight mission to Mars has commemorated its arrival by posting a selfie. The selfie is a composite of 11 different images which were taken by one of its instruments, the Instrument Deployment Camera.
Emerging Tech

Researchers create a flying wireless platform using bumblebees

Researchers at the University of Washington have come up with a novel way to create a wireless platform: using bumblebees. As mechanical drones' batteries run out too fast, the team made use of a biology-based solution using living insects.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Bright ‘hyperactive’ comet should be visible in the sky this weekend

An unusual green comet, 46P/Wirtanen, will be visible in the night sky this month as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 20 years. It may even be possible to see the comet without a telescope.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous images show storms and cloud formations in the atmosphere of Jupiter

NASA's Juno mission arrived at Jupiter in 2016 and has been collecting data since then. NASA has shared an update on the progress of the mission as it reaches its halfway point, releasing stunning images of the planet as seen from orbit.
Emerging Tech

Beautiful image of young planets sheds new light on planet formation

Researchers examining protoplanetary disks -- the belts of dust that eventually form planets -- have shared fascinating images of the planets from their survey, showing the various stages of planet formation.