A Japanese company on Wednesday unveiled a wearable airbag for the elderly that pops out when they fall.
The 1.1 kilogramme (2.4 pound) airbag looks like a traveller’s waist pouch but inflates in one-tenth of a second when sensors detect the wearer has taken a tumble.
The Tokyo-based company, Prop, unveiled the 148,000 yen (1,400 dollars) device at a fair of products for the elderly and people with disabilities.
It protects the back of the head and the buttocks with two inflated bags that contain 15 litres (3.9 gallons) of gas each.
Elderly people are more prone to injury when they fall due to their brittle bones.
Japan has one of the world’s highest life expectancy rates, which is attributed to a mix of factors including a traditional healthy diet with plenty of vegetables.
People aged 65 or older accounted for 21.5 percent of the total population of 127 million last year, according to the government. More than 36,000 people are aged over 100.
But Japan is facing growing costs of caring for its elderly since fewer young people are having children.