Technology affects our social life and social skills. Armed with a smartphone and apps like Tinder, WhatsApp and Facebook, people don’t even need to go out into the real world to have a conversation anymore.
But what if we told you not all forms of technology promote social segregation? Some actually want to combat it. Like this smartwatch released by Japanese company, Veldt.
Hailing from the Land of the Rising Sun, where more and more people are opting for a life of solitude and scarce social interactions (the term hikikomori defines reclusive adolescents or adults who withdraw from social life) Veldt’s new product aims to remind us of good old family values.
The smartwatch called the Tattori West Family Time Watch is even part of a government program meant to encourage people to relocate from the busy, urban area of Tokyo to the rural Tottori prefecture.
Modern life is increasingly putting a toll on our well being and life satisfaction, so in Japan people are encouraged to give up the stress of the overcrowded metropolis and embrace the peace and quiet of country life instead.
As for the Tattori West Family Time Watch – the wearable has an interesting feature – it’s able to measure how much time you spend with your loved ones. Like most smartwatches out there, this one pairs with a smartphone. But to start tracking the time you spend with family members, you’ll need to give your kids, parents, pets a beacon which in turns communicates with the watch when you’re 30 meters of each other.
Time spent together is then shown on the watch’s display and once you hit on of Veldt’s pre-set targets you’ll receive an alert.
The creators of the watch believe that seeing you are able to spend more time with those that matters to you, will make you feel better about your decision of moving into the country side.
But apart from offering this unique feature, the smartwatch is also bundled with more “mainstream” features like being able to deliver email and social media notifications (there’s Facebook in the countryside too, right?) and count steps and track your sleep cycle.
Aesthetically the watch doesn’t look like much, but given that it was created with a higher purpose in mind, we’ll let that slide.