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Taiwan Mobile unveils Granny-tracker smart bracelet

NFC-enabled wearable could help elderly users find their way home

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State-of-the-art smartwatches and wearables are garnering many of the headlines at the Mobile World Congress this week, but in Taiwan a local operator has a different idea – a smart bracelet designed specifically for the elderly.

The wearable device is fitted with NFC technology so that the user can swipe it over an NFC-enabled smartphone to send out an alert including their GPS co-ordinates, according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency.

Taiwan Mobile apparently plans to hand out 4,000 of the bracelets in Taipei and New Taipei City in partnership with the Foundation for the Welfare of the Elderly, and the Bjorgaas Social Welfare Foundation.

“This marks the first NFC-based electronic tagging feature in a smart bracelet in Taiwan, and it could raise people’s willingness to help find senior citizens who get lost,” Taiwan Mobile president James Cheng told a press conference, according to CNA.

Around 200,000 Taiwanese senior citizens apparently have Alzheimer’s disease but over 40 per cent of those that get lost when out and about go missing for long periods of time.

<pThe NFC-enabled smart band could help put a stop to that and improve the lives of those users, Cheng told reporters.

Taiwan Mobile hasn’t been the only industry player to announce pared-down smart wristband technology this week.

At MWC in Barcelona Sony demonstrated a wearable device which integrates with its Sony Lifelog app to measure sleep patterns, steps taken, calories burned and even music the user has listened to that day.

Chinese mobile manufacturer Huawei, meanwhile, introduced the Talkband which monitors fitness and includes a detachable headset for making and receiving calls. ®

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