Our team created the Hozuki Lantern device to create a genuine and efficient interaction between the Japanese locals and the foreign travelers. Our goal for the project was to help elderly residents who are inactive members of the current technological world, to be able to use our device in order to help tourists connect to the authentic lifestyle of the Hida countryside.
It is important for tourists who are visiting the Hida area to understand and experience the countryside lifestyle. In Hida-Furukawa, the local population currently has a high rate of elderly, due to the migration of the younger generations to job-populated areas. The elderly are extremely interested in hosting and showing tourists the lifestyle that they live day to day.
Our group realized that the main issue between the visitors experiencing a genuine lifestyle and the elderly hosting these visitors is a simple lack of connection.
As a solution to the disconnection, we created a merge of two different user interfaces into one device. The elderly, who are not technologically proficient, only have to hang a lantern on their porch. When the lantern is hung, tension is created between the weight of the lantern and the string it is hung on. The tension activates a GPS and Wifi device that is hidden inside a 3D printed case, implanted within the lantern. The GPS device sends the lantern’s location to the Hozuki Project software app, accessible to all tourists via the Google play store. The app displays dropped pins of all the lanterns in the area where tourists can navigate to elderly who are ready to host them for various activities. These two interfaces, allow not only for tourists to easily navigate to the elderly, but for the elderly to use a familiar cultural object without even having to know any aspect of the internal technical operations.