WEAR Sustain, the big European Union Horizon 2020 project, is back and with it the second batch of startups who were successful in getting funding of €50,000 per project to turn their wearable, health and fashion tech ideas into reality.
One of those projects is Stealthy, a line of health and wellbeing-oriented smart jewellery - we spoke to Stealthy's CEO Nadiya Siddique to find out how she plans to use the investment.
"We are currently working on our prototype with guidance from our project mentor Peta Bush [a researcher and lecturer at London Metropolitan University] who is an expert in therapeutic jewellery with extensive experience in womens' health wearables," she told us. "We hope to pilot test Stealthy following the Wear Sustain programme before launch in S/S 2019."
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So what does Stealthy do? The collection includes a necklace, bracelet and a hijab pin. The final devices will have sensors which monitor levels of Vitamin D by calculating how much time is spent outdoors in adequate vitamin D level sunlight during optimal hours. The wearable is paired with a companion lifestyle app which makes activity suggestions and encourages users to share the data with their doctor.
Siddique has working prototypes for the bracelet (pictured with the founder) and says she is working on a new design with a smaller module plus bangle form factor (pictured in the CAD mock up images below).
One potential customer is women pre and post pregnancy but the team isn't narrowing itself when so many people could benefit from being more in tune with Vitamin D levels.
"We believe wearables are the future and will fast become integral to the future of personalised medicine," says Siddique.
"There are currently over 1 billion people who are suffering from Vitamin D deficiency globally. Lacking this vital vitamin has significant impact on our health causing problems such as infertility, preeclampsia, rickets in children, osteoporosis and depression. We are creating a product which tackles a real health epidemic."
Considering the nature of the WEAR Sustain programme, the final product also has to be both stylish and sustainable.
"The early popular market entrants such as the Apple Watch, Fitbit and Garmin products were traditionally designed for a male aesthetic using materials and functionalities suited for sports/ endurance activities not wellbeing," she says. "As more women have adapted to wearables, coupled with an increased consciousness on health and wellbeing, there is an increasing trend shift and desire for design led pieces. It is no longer fashionable to be unhealthy."
And finally, what's with that name - Stealthy? Siddique cleared this up for us too: "We hope to create a community who live by our mantra "Stay Stylish, Stay Healthy – Stealthy."
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