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KYOCERA Launches the “Mi-Look” Mobile Phone for Safety & Well-Being of Elderly Users

Equipped with pedometer and GPS to assist primary caretakers

July 21, 2011
(This product is only available to the Japanese market.)

Kyocera Corporation (President: Tetsuo Kuba) today announced the launch of its “Mi-Look” mobile phone for the au network which was developed for elderly users in order to help support family members who look after them by providing safety features and movement notifications. The Mi-Look is part of KDDI Corporation's new handset lineup, launched on July 21.

Photo: Mi-Look handset in charging dock with sensor (circled in red)

Mi-Look handset in charging dock with sensor (circled in red)


With a rapidly aging population in Japan, the Mi-Look is a new type of mobile phone which was developed specifically to support families who provide primary care to elderly parents who live alone. The handset operates as a mobile phone*1, but is also equipped with a pedometer and movement sensor (on the charging dock), an emergency buzzer & notification system, GPS tracking and other features which allow family members or primary caretakers to stay aware of the user's whereabouts.

A pedometer in the handset keeps track of daily movement and a sensor on the charging dock, which when placed by a doorway for example, detects how many times the user passes by. These in turn send automated messages to the pre-registered caretaker's email address, thus allowing them to be notified of the user's daily activity. For the elderly user, the handset has an LCD screen with highly visible large font sizes and easy to use color-coordinated buttons marking simple operations for ease of use.

Background

Presently Japan has the highest percentage of elderly citizens in the world, with 23.1% of the total population over the age of 65. Moreover, 15.6%, or roughly 4.57 million elderly people, are living by themselves*2. Since the national census began, the number of elderly single-resident households has been increasing, and this trend is expected to further continue into the future.

In these circumstances, there have been an increasing number of requests for a mobile phone that allows adult children who act as primary caretakers to stay aware of their elderly parent's daily activity, while at the same time providing simple operability for the user themselves, and setting limitations on calling and other functions to prevent various types of phone-related fraud which have targeted elderly people in recent years.

Kyocera has responded to these changing social conditions and user needs to create a mobile phone with a simple design and easy-to-use features for elderly users; while at the same time providing a method for caretakers of the elderly to stay connected with their daily activities and support care giving even if the two are living separately.

Main Features

1. Notification of daily activity (pedometer notification)
Mi-Look allows for up to four pedometer notifications per day to the pre-registered contact person.

2. Movement sensor equipped in the charging dock
The sensor in the charging dock counts the number of times someone has passed by, and sends email notifications to the pre-registered contact person at regular intervals.

3. GPS tracking and movement history
GPS tracking allows the pre-registered contact person to check the whereabouts of the user at any time via mobile phone or PC, and even to see a history of their movement. Also, this function can be turned on or off at any time by the caretaker by simply sending an email to the phone.

4. Emergency notification
By pulling the strap on the handset, an emergency buzzer is activated and an emergency notification of the user's whereabouts is sent by email to the pre-registered contact person.

5. Limitation of outgoing and incoming calls to pre-registered contacts
Call functions are limited to pre-registered contacts; allowing one for outgoing calls and 20 for incoming calls, which prevents elderly users from becoming victims of phone-related fraud (other emergency numbers for police, ambulance and fire services are exceptions). Furthermore, if the user does not pick up the phone after eight seconds, the phone will automatically answer and switch to speakerphone so the caller can hear and be heard.

6. Earthquake early warning system
The phone is equipped with an earthquake early warning system which sounds an alarm and clearly states that an earthquake is coming so that elderly users can prepare themselves in advance.

7. Waterproof*3
Mi-Look is waterproof so users do not need to be worried about getting caught out in a sudden rainfall or spilling water on the handset.

Model

Mi-Look

Color

White

Sales Companies

KDDI Corporation, Okinawa Cellular Telephone Company (Japan only)

Size

Approx. W89×H48×D17(mm)

Weight

Approx. 84g (battery and strap included)

Display

Approx. 2.0 QVGA

Talk Time

Approx. 260 minutes

Standby Time

Approx. 380 hours

Outgoing / Incoming Call Limitations

1 / 20 (+ Emergency service numbers)


*1 Outgoing and incoming calls are limited to the pre-registered contacts.
*2 Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan, 2010 national census.
*3 Waterproof function equivalent to IPX5/IPX7. Ensure that caps and battery cases etc. are connected correctly. Do not submerge in the sea, swimming pools, or hot springs, etc. Do not use in direct contact with strong rain (defined as more than 20mm/hour).
All company, system, and product names listed herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective holder. To use pedometer / sensor / emergency notifications (email) and GPS tracking it is necessary to subscribe to the KDDI EZ Win Course (¥315 per month). Depending on the placement, surrounding conditions and speed of movement, the sensor may not always be able detect movement. The safety and condition of family members in emergency situations cannot be guaranteed.