This Editor has been in Watch Overload (see Apple Watch
) for months, but this may be an exception. The UnaliWear Kanega
watch (in development) is for the sizable market of older adults who would wear a well-designed watch or band for safety assistance, but not one that screams Old Person With Plastic PERS, an objective shared with the latest edition of buddi
[TTA 16 Dec 14
]. Their prototype looks like a fairly techno steel watch, a little on the chunky side, but it packs in a lot: a 9-axis accelerometer for fall detection, a GPS locator, Bluetooth LE, cellular/Wi-Fi connectivity and a digital analog display with time and date. What’s unique: no buttons, smartphone or other tether. It works via speech recognition and ‘talks with’ the wearer (via mechanical voice, messaging on the display and a feed to a BLE hearing aid if worn.)
The wearer gives the watch a name it responds to and can ask the watch for things like directions and naming medications. It can also be programmed for features such as wander out of a geographic area, guidance home, activity tracking (and lack thereof), medication reminders (which use the watch screen and a discreet vibrate setting) and med tracking/updating. Very impressive and revolutionary if the production version looks like and does what is promised. They rebranded this year from the more pedestrian name LifeAssist; unfortunately this Editor missed them at mHealth Summit
. Currently listed on Kickstarter
with a goal of $100,000 by 25 March and a target production date of early 2016. Hat tip to John Nosta (@JohnNosta), David Albert, MD (@DrDave01, AliveCor) and Gregg Masters (@2HealthGuru) via Twitter. Also listing on CrunchBase.