The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plans to launch a project in the next fiscal year linking about 50 households to a high-speed data network that will improve their security systems and monitor their occupants’ health, ministry officials said Saturday.

The project, which will involve the state-run Urban Development Corp. and several companies, aims to have the households experiment with various information systems in order to help chart the future of homes that will be equipped with advanced information technology, the officials said.

METI plans to include a request for over 1 billion yen for the envisaged project in its funding request for the fiscal 2002 state budget, they said.

Electric appliance makers, including Fujitsu Ltd. and Toshiba Corp., telecom carrier NTT Communications Corp., the long-distance and international call arm of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., and firms in the foodstuffs, goods distributions and real estate sectors also plan to participate in the project, they said.

Under the plan, the ministry will set up computer servers in some 50 households, including public homes in Tokyo’s Harumi waterfront area, that are linked to a high-speed data network.

The ministry will then operate and monitor the home electric appliances, lighting and security systems of each home for one year. Sensors will be installed in toilets to monitor residents’ weight and carry out urinalyses. If irregularities are detected, the server will report the findings to a hospital.

In the kitchen, residents will be able to conduct a daily search for the ideal meal for their health condition in a database operated by a food company and order the necessary food items from the kitchen, which will then be delivered.

The ministry also will set up a system that will allow residents to use their cellphones to prepare baths and control room temperature from outside the home.

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