A Smart Watch for Seniors
Right on the heels of Apple’s big smart watch introduction comes an interesting new option that needs no other mobile device to work, and is specifically configured to meet the needs of seniors. But while some seniors will embrace this new smart watch, others will find the mere suggestion of the thing a bit offensive.
To understand why opinions about it will be wildly mixed, you first have to understand how this new “senior smart watch” — UnaliWear’s Kanega smart watch – is designed to work.
The company bills the Kanega as, “The first smartwatch that helps seniors with discreet support for falls, medication reminders and a guard against wandering.”
UnaliWear adds that it is, “…the first wearable specifically for independent seniors that uses an easy speech interface rather than buttons, includes cellular and Wi-Fi technology, and updates medical information without typing.”
Can you see why that would offend some seniors? If not, then you don’t know many seniors! Most of them are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves without a gizmo minding them, thank you very much. But others may benefit from the features this watch brings to the table.
In fact, the Kanega may well be a lifesaver for some seniors. According to the company’s release, the Kanega smartwatch:
“Goes where the wearer goes 24/7 and is waterproof
Has its own technology so no smartphone or home-based system is needed, unlike a Samsung Gear or an Apple Watch
Helps prevent the wearer from getting lost while driving or walking
Makes a nightly connection with pharmacies to automatically bring medication updates into the watch
Features a continuous welfare check and fall detection – during an accident or medical emergency that leaves the wearer unable to move or speak, it notifies the monitoring operators for help”
These are some powerful features, and ones that will surely be useful to many seniors. They will also provide peace-of-mind to family members of seniors.
The watch was developed by self-described “serial entrepreneur” Jean Anne Booth – who reportedly sold previous startups to Apple and Texas Instruments.
Booth and her company have released the watch for market feedback on crowd-funding platform Kickstarter.
The watch is expected to retail in 2016 for roughly $299. There will also be a monthly fee of $35-$85 depending on the services requested.
This is an interesting product in several ways, and one that may just help enable some seniors to live with greater self-reliance and confidence. Just be careful how you pitch the idea of using this watch to the seniors in your life.
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