Home appliances with care functions gain attention in Korea as more live alone

by ZeuCer

Home appliances with care functions are gaining attention in South Korea where single-person households account for 40 percent of all households, as they enable family members who live apart to communicate with each other and monitor situations in real time to prevent emergencies that may occur.

In particular, products with companion features that can provide care and bond with their users by using cameras and sensors are receiving a lot of attention as they can reduce potential risks to single-person households without purchasing separate care appliances.

The significant growth in the number of elderly single-person households in Korea is driving release of a slew of home appliances equipped with care functions. According to data from the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, the elderly population accounted for the highest proportion of the total population in the country, with those in their 70s and older accounting for 18.6 percent and those in their 60s 17.8 percent.

Robot home appliance maker ECOVACS’ Deebot T10 OMNI: is a premium robot cleaner with strong suction power, rotating wet mop cleaning, automatic dust bin emptying, wet mop washing, and hot air drying functions. By recognizing space and objects and avoiding obstacles with various sensors and cameras, it can clean an entire house, helping to keep the house clean while relieving the workload of single-person households.

In particular, users can move the robot cleaner to a certain location in their house to monitor real-time situation using the camera through a smartphone app linked with the device. In addition, if users cannot reach their parents, they can move the robot cleaner in their parents’ house to check their location and condition and communicate with their parents while looking at the camera.

Coway Co., a local manufacturer of household appliances, water purifiers and water softeners, introduced the Silver Care service in 2017 that automatically contacts a designated person when the water purifier is not used for 48 hours, a feature that appeals to those who have elderly parents. The smart phone app checks the water usage of the purifier in real time and if it’s not used for more than two days, it sends a message to the family.

The Motion Pillow released by 10minds Co., a local healthcare device company, developed a data sharing service so that children or families who live apart can check the user‘s health and sleep status through a dedicated app. Through this app, a user’s recent sleep conditions can be checked through weekly, monthly and annual data as well as the previous night’s data. In addition, by recording the sound of snoring, the pillow helps easily identify the user’s health and sleep conditions.

Family robot company Enabot’s EBO is an artificial intelligence smart home camera robot that can move freely with wheels. Up to five people can use one device through the EBO app, so children can check on their parents living alone or communicate with them remotely. When linked with a smartphone, EBO can be moved anywhere through the app and home users and outsiders can talk using its camera, microphone and speaker. Since it also acts as a security camera, it patrols around the house and send notifications if it recognizes intruders. Furthermore, it has a pet robot function that can provide care and bond with its users living alone.

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