A city in Japan has come up with a novel way to ensure elders are found when they’re lost – scannable barcodes.
The waterproof QR codes, which are used in the form of stickers that can last up to one month, are being supplied by Saitama Prefecture in Iruma, Tokyo to help families with elderly loved ones locate their relatives at risk of wandering away from their homes. The scannable codes can also be carried around on a keychain.
Each code carries a unique identification number, so if a disoriented elderly person becomes lost, the code could be scanned and police can then immediately locate the lost person through the city council.
But because anyone with a QR reader app could scan the codes, officials have left out people’s names and addresses while still embedding a system that could get them home safely.
The idea is especially a relief for the booming country with a rapidly aging population. By 2060, senior citizens are expected to make up a staggering 40 percent of the population.