Health

The Latest Gift for a Mobile Grandma: A Wearable Airbag

DiscoblogBy Boonsri DickinsonSep 29, 2008 4:57 PM

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For around the price of a laptop ($1,400), you can protect your grandmother from falling down. Prop, a Japanese based company, has created the perfect present for those elderly relatives: an inflatable airbag, which they displayed at the International Home Care and Rehabilitation Exhibition in Tokyo. It’s only 2.4 pounds, but it looks like a fanny pack and is currently available in Japan. The airbag works like this: When a person wearing the bag is about to fall backwards, electronic sensors signal the airbag system to pump 3.9 gallons of gas into each of the two bags, just in time to carefully protect the person from falling on their head and rear end. Other inventions for the older set were also unveiled at the trade show, including slippers that light up to guide the way and cell phones made with larger buttons. And expect the inventions for seniors to rise even more, given the ever-growing senior economy: There are more old people now than ever, with 5.4 million Americans currently over the age of 85. By 2050, that number will reach 19 million in the U.S. Another company is also making the inflatable airbags, but this time they're for motorcycle riders. For a closer look at how it works, check out this YouTube video.

Credit: flickr/skil 0

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