A smart floor mat to help healthcare professionals or caregivers monitor the elderly, especially those who live alone, could be on the market by early next year. It is a good example of how technology can and should be used to improve the lives of senior citizens in the Smart Nation that Singapore aspires to be. The floor mat is a small but important device, and an indicator of how family members or other parties could be involved in keeping track of the daily well-being of elderly citizens without intruding into their privacy.
It would be wrong to think that Smart Nation initiatives appeal to and are targeted mainly at the young or the tech-savvy. Undoubtedly, they will be its primary beneficiaries as they will reap the rewards of the progress that is envisioned by the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office. It sees a Singapore connected seamlessly by technology, enriched by businesses that flourish in the digital economy, and transformed in the crucial domains of health, transport, urban solutions, finance and education. The young will enjoy the dividends of a nation plugged into a world where digitisation reduces the effects of physical distance on the collaborative potential of nations. The Asean Smart Cities Network initiative is one such concrete example.