The company is VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and they’re part of a trend known as the Internet of Things (IoT), which describes how more and more everyday objects are being embedded with electronics and internet connectivity. The hope is that this new trend won’t have a significant impact on the actual cost of these objects, but instead open up a new market of services.
In the case of the smart rollator, VTT has fitted it with sensors that can detect and record data on its user’s physical activities, specifically walking distance, speed, duration, and grip strength. The data can then be analyzed to determine the user’s physical health and alert them, a loved one, or their physician of any changes in condition.
"Other features can also be developed, such as monitoring of motoric state or fall alarm,” said Olli Kuusisto, VTT’s senior scientist. “The measured data can be compared to the user's own goals and those of a reference group or a friend. Emerging trends can be monitored on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis.”
Though it’s only a prototype for now, hopefully VTT’s smart rollator will soon be available to help interested customers age in place.