UNICEF has announced ten finalists for its global #WearablesForGood design challenge, which it has been running alongside partners ARM and frog since May.
The challenge, which attracted 250 entries from 46 countries across the world, was a “call-to-action” to join the charity to develop “innovative, affordable solutions to make wearables and sensor technology a game-changer for women and children across the world”.
Potential to save lives
Among the 10 ideas chosen for the final stage of the design challenge are: a malaria alert bracelet for infants, a water purification band and an ear-worn pneumonia monitor.
The shortlisted teams include designers, engineers and technologists who have created new wearable and senor-based devices that have the potential to help some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
Simon Segars, CEO, ARM said: “We launched a technology competition and we have ended up with 10 ideas that could all save the lives of millions of vulnerable children.
It shows there is a wealth of untapped expertise and ideas out there for new wearable devices that can fulfil a wholly different purpose than is associated with them now.”
The next step
The chosen teams will now enter the next stage of the competition, where they will endeavour to transform their concepts into working prototypes. The final projects are due to be submitted in October.
Two winners will then be announced in November, at a tech event in Helsinki and the ARM TechCon.
The winners will not only be given a prize of $15,000, but will also receive advice and coaching from experts at UNICEF, ARM and frog.
The finalists are:
- CommunicAID, S: a bracelet that tracks medication treatment
- Droplet, S: a wrist-worn wearable water purification device
- Guard Band, Vietnam: a wristband that helps protect children from abuse
- Khushi Baby, India and U.S: a necklace-type wearable to track child immunization in the first two years of life
- Raksh, India: a device worn in the ear to track a child’s respiration rate, heart rate, body temperature and relative breath humidity designed by a team of university students
- Soapen, India and U.S.: an interactive crayon-like device that encourages hand washing among young children
- Telescrypts, East Africa and U.S: a wearable device to take patients’ vitals and send the data to health care workers
- TermoTell, Nigeria and U.S: 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 malaria
- Totem Open Health Patch, Netherlands: a small sensor-based device that is part of a wider Totem Open Health system for wearable health technology
- WAAA!, K.: A sensor-based neonatal health surveillance tool.
Viable business opportunities in developing markets
Erica Kochi, co-founder of UNICEF Innovation said: “The ideas from the 10 finalists demonstrate how wearable technology can be applied in resource-constrained environments, creating viable business opportunities for the technology sector in developing markets.
We’re excited to review the finalists’ refined ideas over the coming months to pick two that have the potential to improve the lives of women and children at a national or global scale.”
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