UnaliWear’s Kanega PERS watch nears US launch

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/531571-unaliwear-kanega-watch.jpg” thumb_width=”175″ /]Catching up with UnaliWear’s Kanega watch, which (unbelievably) we haven’t written about since 2015 but have noticed in the Austin tech news, we are cheered to hear that the company is nearing a market launch. This is after two 2016 raises: a November $3.5 million Series A at a $15 million valuation and a February $3.4 million seed round (CrunchBase). This Editor spoke with founder/developer Jean Anne Booth at the 2015 HIMSS Connected Health Conference/mHealth Summit (now PCHA Connected Health Conference) after seeing it in 2014, and was impressed by the design and workmanship of the watches at that time. Ms Booth, a self-described tech geek who developed and sold Luminary Micro, which created a microcontroller (MCU) platform, to Texas Instruments and is also an AMD alumna, wanted an emergency alert device that was stylishly designed to her mother’s exacting standards (a former fashion model and impeccable dresser, left above) and functionally advanced. Her initial designs were funded through a Kickstarter campaign [TTA 27 Mar 15]. As we reported before that in February, it’s quite apart from the usual run of PERS. [grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/531584-unaliwear-kanega-watch.gif” thumb_width=”100″ /]Kanega is fully cellular, self-contained and voice-controlled with no buttons: GPS, emergency response connection, fall/inactivity detection, ‘guide me home’ location based voice assistance and medication reminder/assistance behind a high-contrast digital time display which makes it look like a regular (albeit fashionably chunky) watch (left). In mid-year, which is the scheduled market launch, the activation fee will be $50 with a monthly charge of $49.99. If you can’t wait, pre-orders are being takenPC Magazine

buddi wins £20 million in contracts, signs up with Care Innovations in US

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/lavender_set_34.jpg-buddi.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]buddi, a well-known UK personal tracker/tagger company, announced over the weekend that they have signed two contracts worth £20 million ($25.1 million). The first and most of interest is with Intel-GE Care Innovations for their new, quite attractive wrist-worn fall detector/two-way emergency alert/activity monitor. According to the Telegraph, it was designed by Sebastian Conran (left) and was ‘fully certified by the US government in recent weeks’ which may mean that it gained FDA clearance. The second was for their ‘Smart Tag’ used in criminal tracking with the New South Wales, Australia government. Care Innovations adds another consumer-facing device to the Lively activity tracker and iHealth fitness and telehealth devices. Timing for availability is not disclosed. (more…)

Crime-sensing hair clip points to ‘fashionable safety’

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/first_sign_clip-1.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]The First Sign hair clip is designed to sense impact/fall, send a panic alert, then transmit the information to a smartphone to a monitoring service–and more. The app activates an onboard microphone which transmits audio, then activates audio, video (through the smartphone camera) and GPS, sending information to the internet. The phone barks “help is on the way and evidence collected” to deter the attacker. All is live centrally monitored and if not a false alarm, the phone automatically calls out for emergency assistance and to emergency contacts. It’s being priced on Indiegogo for $75 inclusive of the first year of monitoring ($50 without) and has various decorative covers. In places like New York which have fairly low and non-violent levels of crime, First Sign definitely has an ‘assurance’ market, and the developers are wise to the uses it has for older adult safety, lone worker, driving and travel. Especially for older women, a decorative clip is far more attractive than a pendant (as long as you have a smartphone–a possible tie in with GreatCall/5 Star?) However, in places like India, which have high levels of violent male-on-female street crime [TTA 4 April 13, 2 Feb 13] — or East St. Louis, Missouri, Detroit or Flint Michigan or Camden New Jersey — the minor element of a barking phone and distance monitoring is not going to deter very much. First Sign is a bit more than halfway from its modest Indiegogo goal of $50,000, with only seven days left.  Gizmag