UNICEF's Wearables for Good competition finalists announced

Malaria detecting wearables and water purification bands make the cut
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The Wearables for Good competition – launched by UNICEF, ARM and Frog – has revealed its long list of wearables and concepts.

The competition was launched back in May as a way to encourage designers and developers to create innovative ideas for wearable tech that could make a difference to children in developing countries.

Making a difference: Wearable tech that makes a difference

Two winners will get $15,000 in funding to make their ideas a reality, as well as the support of ARM and Frog Design, two giants of wearable technology product development.

Ideas that have made it through to the judging phase include wearable water purifiers, a malaria early warning system and even a device to stop child abuse. Entrants have come in from across the globe with the US, India and Africa well represented in the long list.

And Denise Gershbein, creative director at tech design company Frog said that the competition showed that wearables are becoming more than just about counting steps:

"Wearables are no longer just devices we wear on our bodies to measure our heart rate or count our steps. What really makes them 'tick' is when they are embedded within the context of entire networks, generating significant sustainable social impact.

"We are excited to help the 10 finalists navigate this challenge and, in turn, rally the global community to explore greater use case potential for wearables and sensor technology."

The next step is to turn the ideas into working prototypes, and each of the teams will get help from ARM and Frog to make that a reality.

The full list of finalists is:

  • CommunicAID, U.S: a bracelet that tracks medication treatment
  • Droplet, U.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!, U.K.: A sensor-based neonatal health surveillance tool.

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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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