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

UnaliWear Kanega assistance watch makes Kickstarter goal

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Unali-Kanega-new-iteration.jpg” thumb_width=”175″ /]The UnaliWear Kanega assistance watch [TTA 18 Feb] on Wednesday closed its Kickstarter crowdfunding over the top at $110,154. It has several features to promote safety for older people or the disabled, with fall detection, GPS and stand-alone cellular/Wi-Fi connectivity, but the most unique is voice recognition and command/response. Its latest prototype is half the case size as previously, with a more attractive analog watch face, which makes it a lot more MAYA (most advanced yet acceptable–Raymond Loewy), and a major improvement in form over your typical PERS or most GPS watches. With our usual caveat (if it does what it says it does in production), we applaud Jean Anne Booth and her team for their achievement–and we’ll be watching.

An alert watch for older adults that responds to voice commands

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/UnaliWear_Images_r6_c4.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]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.) (more…)