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Japanese Broadcaster Brings Big Brother Tech To TVs

What's the Latest Development?

Nippon Television Network (NTV), along with a consortium of organizations and nonprofit groups, is about to test a new service in the Japanese prefecture of Tokushima that will help the elderly receive valuable information as well as provide their relatives with a way to monitor their activities remotely, all through the television. Registered seniors will get automatic instruction on evacuation routes in case of a major disaster. At other times, family members will be notified if the system notes any unusual changes in the viewer's watching habits, whereby they can send messages to their loved one...again, through the television.

What's the Big Idea?

Two factors play a role in the development of this service: During the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, elderly people were disproportionately affected due to a lack of evacuation awareness, and Tokushima is in a particularly disaster-prone part of the country. Also, people over 65 are expected to make up a third of the population in the next 20 years. After Tokushima, NTV hopes to create a version that can be used nationwide.

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Read it at The Wall Street Journal

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