There’s no shortage of wearables on the market, but their uses tend to be narrow, focusing on health, fitness, and bridging the land between your smartphone and your wrist. We’ve seen some devices crop up that tailor their functions to a more defined user base, but that user base is typically children. The UnaliWear Kanega Watch takes the opposite approach, targeting elderly users in particular with features that both facilitate independence while putting a caretaker’s mind at ease. Medication alerts, directions home, and more are all available.
The Kanega Watch has a conservative style that won’t be likely to turn off elderly users, and it functions independent of a smartphone, a necessary feature given its demographic. The wearable offers three big features: it detects if the users has fallen, offers reminders when it is time to take meds, and it helps prevent wandering by offering directions back home. To help keep the operation simple, the notifications and prompts are all auditory.
The smartwatch is waterproof and designed to be worn all the time (to avoid issues with forgetting to put it on). To avoid issues with the auditory notifications in public, the watch “requests” permission to talk by vibrating first. In the grand scheme of things, Kanega is like a personal assistant that calls for help if one falls.
Kanega Watch’s makers are seeking funding for the device on Kickstarter, where they’re looking to raise $100,000 USD with $15,500 currently raised and 28 days remaining. A pledge of $99 will get you a loaned Kanega and slot in the beta program, while $279 USD will get you a unit to keep. Shipping to beta users starts in October, while the purchased units will ship in February of next year.