The prototype of a “smart walking stick” with built-in sat-nav has been developed by Japanese technology giant Fujitsu. The walking stick is equipped with connection technologies including GPS, 3G and wi-fi. It also has an LED display on top of the handle which indicates which direction to go.

The Next Generation Cane is designed to help elderly people find their way, as well as monitor things such as heart rate and temperature. If the stick detects an irregular heartbeat, it can automatically contact emergency services.

If a change of direction is needed, the walking stick vibrates, and an arrow appears.

The cane location can be followed online – and can be set up to send email alerts if it thinks the user may have fallen over.

Data is sent back to a host computer, so a carer or relative can see the location of the user, with additional data, such as heart rate, being streamed.

To read more about the Next Generation Cane visit here.