Wearables for the third world with UNICEF

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UNICEF wants wearables to not just be first world. Its leaders believe that some ideas of this technology can save lives in the third world or improve them ostensibly, especially for children.

With that intention, they have launched an initiative Wearables for Good competition aimed at designers and developers to create innovative ideas for technology wearable that could make an improvement for children in developing countries.

Wearables that make a difference

In this initiative, two winners will receive $ 15,000 to make your idea come true, as well as the support of ARM and Frog Design, two giants of wearable product development.

Participants have come from around the world especially from the US, India and Africa who have come up with ideas such as portable water purifiers, a malaria early warning system and even a device to stop child abuse. Ideas far removed from the typical commercial wearables for virtual reality, smartwatches for athletes or urban clothing.

Denise Gershbein, creative director of Frog Design said that: “Wearables are no longer just the devices we use on our bodies to measure our heart rate or count our steps. What really gives them value is when they fit into the context of entire networks, generating significant sustainable social impact. We are very happy to help the 10 finalists in this challenge.

Now it’s the hardest part to turn ideas into working prototypes. The full list of finalists is:

  • Communicaid, USA: a bracelet that tracks drug treatment
  • Droplet, USA: a wristband portable water purification device
  • Guard Band, Vietnam: a bracelet that helps protect children from abuse
  • Khushi baby, India and USA: a necklace to track childhood immunization in the first two years of life
  • Raksh, India: a device that is placed in the ear to follow a child’s vitals: breathing, heart rate, body temperature and relative humidity of the breath
  • Soapen, India and USA: a crayon-like interactive device that encourages handwashing among young children
  • Telescrypts, East Africa and USA: a portable device to take vital signs of patients and send the data to health workers
  • TermoTell, Nigeria and USA: a bracelet used to monitor and analyze a child’s temperature in real time in order to save the lives of children at risk of contracting malaria
  • Totem Open Health Patch, The Netherlands: a small sensor-based device that is part of a larger Totem Open Health system for wearable healthcare technology
  • WAAA!, UK: A sensor-based neonatal health surveillance tool.

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