Japan's population is aging rapidly—more than one-third of its citizens are over 60 years of age, according to government estimates. Coupled with a low birth rate, the number of caretakers for this older demographic in the country is not sufficient, says Yoshiyasu Hirama, chairman of the Security Association of Chiba, Japan.
One residential property intent on addressing that problem is the Sha Maison retirement community. Located in Chiba, Japan, it features 700 housing units, as well as common areas where residents are provided with long-term and medical care needs. Sha Maison is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sekisui House, Ltd.
Sha Maison was searching for a modern solution that would help augment caretaking with 24/7 monitoring of residents through a variety of sensors, IP cameras, and other technologies. After evaluating several options, it turned to Mivatek Smart Connect, a leading Internet of Things mobile cloud platform that monitors and manages a variety of connected sensors and video images for interactive and collaborative protection and home automation.
"With Mivatek's technological advances, we could lessen our manpower requirement, reduce operating expenses, and provide enhanced peace of mind and automation control service to our community residents, as well as their families," Hirama notes.
Mini IP-cameras, battery-powered Wi-Fi door and window sensors, panic buttons, motion sensors, and sirens are installed in each unit; outdoor IP cameras cover the units as well as the common areas. Twelve ecosystem partners' smart devices can be managed via the same mobile app. All these are integrated into a wireless hub in the apartment, powered by Mivatek, which sends monitoring, alert, and control communications to the cloud.
The property service provider helps the tenant set up the Smart Connect system when they move in, as well as supervisory control of who will be alerted and who can access the premise's video.
The platform software is programmable to satisfy a variety of interactive protection applications, including notifying multiple tier groups of users with supervisory control of the video to protect user privacy. Family members can be authorized to view their loved one's activity with access to the Mivatek mobile platform, which Hirama says provides an added sense of security. "They see the system as one of the essential parts of their life. It helps elder residents live a more convenient and safer life as well as providing peace of mind to their family members," Hirama says. "There is no more blind guessing—everyone always knows what's going on."
A community operator or concierge oversees the Smart Connect Video-IoT system with a smartphone, smart pad, or Web browser. The community concierge self-monitoring mobile-cloud service saves the expense of a Central Monitoring Station (CMS), lowers management overhead, and offers community residents a comprehensive protection, automation, and peace of mind service.
Installation of Mivatek at Sha Maison began in February 2018 and was completed in June. During this timeframe, Sha Maison set up a demo of its smart community using Mivatek to the public. "People love the idea that their future home can provide interactive device controls, monitoring, and a safer protected living environment," Hirama says.
The benefits of the system extend beyond security, which provides a daily living update for loved ones and caretakers. "You can track our elderly residents' daily activities and help them control their medication intake all in the app interface, Hirama says, "and you can verify all those events with video." He adds that the system can be customized for individual users depending on their specific needs and wants. Residents have the option to designate a CMS call-center or a community security operator as a video recipient to accelerate the emergency response time.
There is no additional cost to residents for the Mivatek Smart Connect system. In the future, Sha Maison hopes to expand on the connectivity capabilities Mivatek provides, including more smart ecosystem partners, smart video analytics, and smart event alerts through artificial intelligence.
The Sha Maison project is a great illustration of Mivatek's goal to provide a Smart Connect community platform that can benefit community service providers as well as residents.
Joe Liu is CEO of Mivatek Smart Connect.