GPS Walking Cane Gives Seniors a Helping Hand

2 May 2013


GPS helps seniors get high-tech walking canes fit with wireless connection and Bluetooth technology. Clearly aimed at the elderly, this walking stick from Japan’s Fujitsu is a prototype equipped with GPS navigation features, health monitoring sensors, Bluetooth and wireless connectivity.

Next Generation Cane

The new GPS walking cane, which can be used by anyone who needs help walking, is known as the Next Generation Cane, or simply, Generation. The data can be viewed by the user, medical personnel and even relatives who want to keep track of the person with the walking cane. It not only provides real-time data for the user’s movements, but it can actually warn relatives of potentially dangerous situations.

The Generation walking cane is currently the most advanced cane using GPS technology. It monitors everything from the distance traveled to the person’s heart rate and even their body temperature. This helps others track and monitor their activity, so if the senior is overdoing it or gets lost, they can easily be found.

The cane was built by Japan’s leading technology company, Fujitsu. They are the same creators behind advanced robots and reality glasses, with the GPS walking stick being the latest invention. Aside from highly accurate GPS technology, the Generation walking cane also includes 3G connection, Bluetooth technology and an LCD screen. The cane’s high-tech features can last two to three hours on one battery charge, though the hope is that will be extended as the cane is further tweaked.

Features of the Next Generation Cane

What the relative can do is plan a route for the person walking with the cane, and connect a PC to the GPS unit on the cane. This allows prompt GPS tracking of the user’s route and their health condition during daily physical activity.

To view the data, which is available in real-time GPS tracking, from the walking cane is done by syncing a computer or smartphone to the GPS unit on the cane. After programming a route, the person using the cane looks at the LCD screen and follows the green arrows. It also includes a vibrating function to indicate a turn during the walk. The cane also includes health monitoring capabilities and can measure how many times the cane is placed on the ground during a walk. The heart rate monitoring feature is done through a thumb pad on the handle. The walking cane can also be programmed to alert emergency services if the person’s heart rate drops or rises beyond a set number.


Aside from elderly persons, anyone with walking difficulties like disabled persons, can use the walking cane. It also has some benefits for hikers who like to walk with a walking stick; this helps them track their route and vitals, while a friend at home can monitor their location and activity. Japan is hoping that the cane can help people continue to work well into their older years.


The GPS walking cane is still in the early developmental stages as the company works to make it as affordable as possible. A prototype has been built by Fujitsu which was recently shown at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. Fujitsu hopes to work out the details very soon so it can be released to the public.



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