13 February 2017
Technology is inherently seen as something that disconnects a person from the people and emotions around. But it doesn't always have to be this way. A new smartwatch, from the Japan-based Veldt watch company, keeps track of how much time you spend with your loved ones, and helps set and achieve family goals.
The watch, called the Tottori West Family Time Watch, tracks how much time you spend with a loved one. All you have to do is give your loved one a beacon, which communicates with the watch whenever it is within 30 meters of it. This was, the watch keeps track of when you're spending time with family.
The total time you spend with family is recorded. You can set goals as well, built into the watch. You get an alert every time you miss a goal, which should keep you on your toes.
Besides family time tracking, the watch has other smartwatch features as well, such as step and sleep tracking, email and social media notifications etc.
Families that participated in a short stay program, moving to a rural area in west Tottori from metropolitan cities, are all handed out with the Tottori West Family Time Watch. The program is an initiative lead by Tottori prefecture to promote living in west Tottori. The smart watch allowed participants to keep track of the time they spent with their families during their participation to the program
Although a cool concept, it isn't a very refined idea yet. Signal beacons are easily lost, and the 30 meter distance is too large to be accepted as "together". People in two separate rooms can be merely 5 meters apart, yet never talk to each other. Perhaps detecting the presence of other devices (such as a smartphone) might be a better way to understand when families are together. But even so, the concept is a cool one and definitely a well-intended project.