Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

Masaaki Tanaka

Masaaki Tanaka, Designer, IBM

By Masaaki Tanaka

When I came to work for IBM as a designer in the Tokyo Interactive Experience’s User Centered Design lab last September, I expected to focus on enterprise computing. But, much to my surprise, the project I’m working on now for an IBM client has me imagining the digital lifestyles of a certain class of individuals–Japan’s senior citizens.

In fact, the target customer for Japan Post’s just-launched online Watch Over service is my own father. My dad is a 75-year-old retiree who lives alone in a rural area in Saga Prefecture, in the south of Japan. He has never touched a computer. He rides a bike rather than driving a car, so he’s cut off from his friends and it takes him 20 minutes to pedal to the nearest convenience store. I hate to think what would happen if he had a medical emergency.

IBM and Apple are collaborating with Japan Post to create this first-of-a-kind service aimed at providing seniors with mobile digital assistants that can help them do everything from keep track of their medications and order grocery deliveries to video-chat with friends and reach out for assistance. There’s a community function that makes it easy for them interact with others by volunteering as crossing guards or school aides.

Seniors will be equipped with iPads containing a suite of mobile quality-of-life services custom-tailored for their needs. Silver aims to roll out the service to as many as 5 million customers by 2020.

YouTube Preview Image

I was the original designer assigned to the project when it started several months ago. This is a tremendously gratifying experience. Not only do I potentially get to help my own father, but this work could improve the lives of seniors not only in Japan, but, eventually, elsewhere in the world.

For a designer, it’s a fascinating endeavor. My colleagues and I now see the world through the eyes of people whose lives and experiences are very different from ours. It really gets to the essence of user experience design–which is critical as we rethink the relationships between people and machines so we can make computing more satisfying for everybody from senior citizens to CEOs.

Tim Cook, CEO Apple; Taizo Nishimuro, CEO, Japan Post; Ginni Rometty, CEO IBM

Tim Cook, CEO Apple; Taizo Nishimuro, CEO, Japan Post; Ginni Rometty, CEO IBM

A tiny team at IBM Japan got the whole thing going. My first market research subjects were my mother and my mother-in-law. My mom lives nearby, so I would pop over every couple of weeks to get her reactions to design ideas. Mom is comfortable using an iPad, so she represented our more sophisticated users. My mother-in-law was less experienced with mobile technology, so she stood in for our novices. She now has an iPad and takes it everywhere.

Since the project was secret, I couldn’t tell either of the moms what it was all about.

Before too long, I was joined on the project by teams of designers from IBM and Apple. To create a service that’s both highly practical and extremely easy to use, we considered the basic realities of the lives of seniors. For instance, we decided early on to use clicks rather than swipes for basic commands, since seniors are used to pressing buttons on microwaves and washing machines to get things done.

We also considered the unique culture of Japan. Typically, in Japan, you can’t schedule an appointment with your doctor over the phone. You have to show up when you’re sick. But consider my dad for a minute. What if he’s really sick and can’t ride his bicycle up to his nearest clinic or a hospital? That’s when this this service comes in handy. Since it monitors his daily activities, it knows that he’s not taking all of his prescribed medicine or he’s not feeling well. The app service will allow him to easily dispatch a taxi if needed or contact his local Japan Post staff for assistance.

My ultimate personal goal is to get my dad to use the Watch Over service as soon as it becomes available in his area. It will make life easier for him, for sure. But I also think it could help bring my family closer together. That’s an important part of my dream. I want to help society, but I also want to help my own family.

Bookmark and Share

Previous post

Next post

27 Comments
 
August 24, 2016
2:10 am
June 11, 2016
12:47 pm

benar2 kreatif


Posted by: sales mobil honda semarang
 
March 7, 2016
8:15 pm
March 7, 2016
8:15 pm

great idea
snapchat pc


Posted by: snapchat pc
 
March 5, 2016
9:41 am

nice


Posted by: imo for pc
 
February 16, 2016
9:11 am

nice


Posted by: العاب بنات ميادة
 
February 16, 2016
7:16 am

I really enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing.


Posted by: Fear The Walking Dead Season 2 Online
 
February 16, 2016
7:14 am

Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking.


Posted by: Watch Me Before You Online
 
February 16, 2016
7:11 am

It is so interesting. I want to know some other information about this site. So please give me this news quickly


Posted by: Better Call Saul Season 2 Online
 
February 11, 2016
3:36 pm

Thanx Ilove this


Posted by: العاب بنات
 
February 1, 2016
1:01 pm

This is an excellent article written by you. please more Information share :-


Posted by: Main wo chaand
 
February 1, 2016
1:00 pm

Nice post i like your article and post thanks for sharing this post with us


Posted by: Main wo chaand
 
December 30, 2015
6:53 am

Great Information. I would like to appreciate your efforts. See more ideas about new year at : http://www.anewyear2016.com.


Posted by: Aabru
 
December 30, 2015
3:47 am

Thank you for sharing it. See more ideas about new year at : http://azhappynewyear.com.


Posted by: Aabru
 
December 15, 2015
5:11 am

ted videos). But this new “sharing” program isn’t enough for PewDiePie to believe Nintendo has the best interests of YouTubers, or even the company’s own reputation in mind
ICC T20 World Cup 2016 Schedule


Posted by: Ravi Kumar
 
December 7, 2015
1:47 pm

ted videos). But this new “sharing” program isn’t enough for PewDiePie to believe Nintendo has the best interests of YouTubers, or even the company’s own reputation in mind.


Posted by: ICC T20 World Cup 2016 Schedule
 
December 7, 2015
1:46 pm

VZ] makes it easy for them interact with others by volunteering as crossing guards or school aides. [ Masaaki Tanaka […]


Posted by: new year 2016 quotes
 
December 7, 2015
1:45 pm

Rising Sun. How so? Well, the iPads are said to feature custom-built apps by IBM, all designed with senior citizens in mind — some can be used to set reminders and alerts about medications, or to request help with […]


Posted by: new year 2016 images
 
November 10, 2015
7:18 am

hi. thanks


Posted by: درب ضد سرقت
 
November 9, 2015
5:25 am

good idea


Posted by: تست جوش
 
July 12, 2015
9:38 am

Wow…i bet now u enjoy working.. the best part about working is the ability to use your skills to help others. Lucky you pal


Posted by: new year 2016
 
July 11, 2015
9:01 am

If you want to reach an audience that doesn’t have access to the Internet, then podcasting isn’t the way to do it. Podcasts, especially vodcasts — video files — are often large files, which also makes them hard to access for anyone with a slow Internet connection. If you want to make an audio podcast available to a customer who’s hearing-impaired or anyone who doesn’t have a compatible player, you need to turn the material into a written transcript as well.


Posted by: Peter Juma
 
June 24, 2015
7:27 am

Great story and beautiful ideas!


Posted by: zuma
 
June 17, 2015
7:08 am

Wow…i bet now u enjoy working.. the best part about working is the ability to use your skills to help others. Lucky you pal


Posted by: festus
 
June 10, 2015
5:16 am

incredible!


Posted by: agrieconomics
 
May 8, 2015
7:35 am

I think A personal digital assistant (PDA), also known as a handheld PC, or personal data assistant is a mobile device that functions as a personal information manager. The term evolved from Personal Desktop Assistant, a software term for an application that prompts or prods the user of a COMPUTER with suggestions or provides quick reference to contacts and other lists.


Posted by: Seo packages Melbourne
 
May 1, 2015
1:09 am

FT


Posted by: Bridgette
 
13 Trackbacks
 
June 19, 2015
5:11 am

[…] Rising Sun. How so? Well, the iPads are said to feature custom-built apps by IBM, all designed with senior citizens in mind — some can be used to set reminders and alerts about medications, or to request help with […]


Posted by: Apple and IBM customize iPads to help the elderly in Japan | Technology
 
May 3, 2015
12:06 pm

[…] Rising Sun. How so? Well, the iPads are said to feature custom-built apps by IBM, all designed with senior citizens in mind — some can be used to set reminders and alerts about medications, or to request help with […]


Posted by: Apple and IBM customize iPads to help the elderly in Japan | WordPress
 
May 1, 2015
3:33 am

[…] Rising Sun. How so? Well, the iPads are said to feature custom-built apps by IBM, all designed with senior citizens in mind — some can be used to set reminders and alerts about medications, or to request help with things […]


Posted by: Apple and IBM customize iPads to help the elderly in Japan | xvid entertainment news
 
April 30, 2015
2:49 pm

[…] Rising Sun. How so? Well, the iPads are said to feature custom-built apps by IBM, all designed with senior citizens in mind — some can be used to set reminders and alerts about medications, or to request help with […]


Posted by: Apple and IBM customize iPads to help the elderly in Japan | My Power Health
 
April 30, 2015
2:23 pm

[…] Rising Sun. How so? Well, the iPads are said to feature custom-built apps by IBM, all designed with senior citizens in mind — some can be used to set reminders and alerts about medications, or to request help with […]


Posted by: Apple and IBM customize iPads to help the elderly in Japan - Ask a Question and Get Answer Frequently Asked Questions
 
April 30, 2015
2:03 pm

[…] Rising Sun. How so? Well, the iPads are said to feature custom-built apps by IBM, all designed with senior citizens in mind — some can be used to set reminders and alerts about medications, or to request help with […]


Posted by: Apple and IBM customize iPads to help the elderly in Japan | Sports News
 
April 30, 2015
1:43 pm

[…] Rising Sun. How so? Well, the iPads are said to feature custom-built apps by IBM, all designed with senior citizens in mind — some can be used to set reminders and alerts about medications, or to request help with […]


Posted by: Apple and IBM customize iPads to help the elderly in Japan | Technology News
 
April 30, 2015
1:34 pm

[…] makes it easy for them interact with others by volunteering as crossing guards or school aides. [ Masaaki Tanaka […]


Posted by: iPads in Japan » Hightech und Blech
 
April 30, 2015
1:12 pm

[…] Rising Sun. How so? Well, the iPads are said to feature custom-built apps by IBM, all designed with senior citizens in mind — some can be used to set reminders and alerts about medications, or to request help with […]


Posted by: Apple and IBM customize iPads to help the elderly in Japan | ALL Internet
 
April 30, 2015
1:07 pm

[…] Rising Sun. How so? Well, the iPads are said to feature custom-built apps by IBM, all designed with senior citizens in mind — some can be used to set reminders and alerts about medications, or to request help with […]


Posted by: Apple and IBM customize iPads to help the elderly in Japan | My Blog
 
April 30, 2015
12:41 pm

[…] Rising Sun. How so? Well, the iPads are said to feature custom-built apps by IBM, all designed with senior citizens in mind — some can be used to set reminders and alerts about medications, or to request help with […]


Posted by: Apple and IBM customize iPads to help the elderly in Japan | Taiwan NO 01
 
April 30, 2015
12:39 pm

[…] Rising Sun. How so? Well, the iPads are said to feature custom-built apps by IBM, all designed with senior citizens in mind — some can be used to set reminders and alerts about medications, or to request help with […]


Posted by: Apple and IBM customize iPads to help the elderly in Japan - teqarazzi
 
April 30, 2015
12:35 pm

[…] Rising Sun. How so? Well, the iPads are said to feature custom-built apps by IBM, all designed with senior citizens in mind — some can be used to set reminders and alerts about medications, or to request help with […]


Posted by: Apple and IBM customize iPads to help the elderly in Japan – Buzzarabic.com
 
Post a Comment