While this product was designed with an older audience in mind, the new GPS-enabled cane by Fujitsu can be used by just about anyone. The stylish walking-aid incorporates technology with the outdoor pastime well, by integrating Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular radio directly into the head of the cane.
The display panel on the top panel provides directions in the form of symbols lit up using multi-colored LED lights. A green arrow indicates which direction one should be currently traveling, while a red exclamation point alerts the user to an upcoming turn. So far, feedback on the LED panel has been both positive and negative, with some expressing concern over the readability in bright light or for someone with failing eyesight.
Aside from the traditional navigation use of GPS, this cane can also be used as a tracking device. The limited battery life, 2-3 hours, doesn't make this a practical tracking solution as of yet, but with an increase could be a valid option in the future.
The heart-rate and temperature sensor features are well designed. They can send information back to a person monitoring the cane-user. In cases of emergency or confusion a destination could be sent remotely to the cane. This would allow the user to be directed to a cooler/warmer location or to seek medical attention.
The version that has been available for demo purposes is a prototype only. A marketable version probably won't be seen for another year or two. The buzz being generated so far holds great promise that this concept sure to become a reality.