Japan uses QR stickers to track down the elderly

Japan has a surge in elderly citizens. Among its ageing population more than 4.6 million people suffer from dementia. There’s nothing new in people microchipping their pets, so they’re easily found when lost, but now a city in Japan wants to use a similar tactic on their elderly. Instead of microchipping the Japanese are looking at tiny waterproof QR code stickers.

The QR stickers can be stuck onto a wearer’s fingernail or carried around on a key holder. Currently a test in run in one city, but if broadened out to the whole country, people who come across a disoriented elderly could scan the sticker with their smart phones, using a designated app, and find out the wearer’s registration number, home town and the telephone number of their local city hall. Is this the solution to bringing a lost elderly person back home to their families – or the beginning of a Big Brother society?

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