Senior Wearables: The Kanega Watch
Wearable technology is one of the biggest consumer trends of the past few years and one that seniors, in particular, can really stand to benefit from.
Wearables are, quite simply, technology you can wear. Some of the better known versions of wearable technology are the fitness trackers like the FitBit and Misfit that help people track basic health metrics and challenge themselves to do better over time.
Senior wearables haven’t gotten quite as much play in news stories, but many have been developed that provide handy solutions to problems familiar to many seniors. From a wearable GPS that makes it easy for loved ones to find a senior with dementia that wanders off, to a wearable device for seniors with cardiac issues that keeps a constant monitor on the heart to give wearers an early warning before serious problems, senior wearables are quite literally saving lives.
Seniors now have yet one more wearable coming on to the market that’s been designed with them in mind.
A New Smartwatch for Seniors
The Kanega watch from UnaliWear is a smartwatch designed specifically to meet the needs of seniors. The company recognized a number of needs seniors have that a well-designed wearable could solve and went straight to potential consumers to raise funding to create it.
Many months and a successful Kickstarter campaign later, and the smartwatch for seniors is in development and on track to be released in early 2017. The founder of UnaliWear, Jean Anne Booth, is a serial entrepreneur with enough experience in the tech space to know that her idea for the Kanega watch could become a reality.
Enough seniors showed up to support that wearable’s development that the Kanega Watch seems poised to make a real mark in the senior wearable space.
Kanega Watch Features
The Kanega watch has been called a “wearable OnStar” by early testers because it offers quick, personal help at the moment you need it most. But you don’t have to be in your car to access it; you can wear it at all times.
The list of features the senior smartwatch provides is long:
- It can be worn 24/7. If you had to take it off, you could forget to put it back on, so you don’t have to take it off.
- It’s waterproof. You can wear it in the shower, while going for a swim, or when doing water exercises.
- It provides alerts for medication management. Wherever you are, you’ll get a reminder if you forget a medication.
- It detects falls so you can get help quickly.
- It will help you find your way home if you get lost. It includes a GPS so you’re never really lost, and you can talk to a human representative if you’d prefer to get direct personal help rather than following a map.
- Can be hooked up to your hearing aid. If you wear a hearing aid, the smartwatch can talk just to you, rather than out loud.
- It doesn’t include complicated buttons. If you find smartphones and other tech gadgets hard to figure out, you don’t have to worry with the Kanega watch. You can use voice commands with it and, if the speech recognition program doesn’t understand you, you’ll get transferred to an actual person who can help.
- It doesn’t require a smartphone to work.
- It doesn’t require a base station. Many home monitoring systems only work if you’re close to a base station (or a smartphone that serves as a base station), the Kanega watch continues to work no matter how far you stray from home.
- It has a long battery life.
- It doesn’t have to replace your current watch. You can add it to a watch you already have, or you can use the wristband it comes with.
- It looks like any old watch. You don’t want to telegraph that you need a device for help. This one blends right in.
- It tells time. On top of everything else, it is still a watch after all.
The goal of the Kanega watch is to give seniors the means to continue living life independently, while making some of the tasks that are hard to keep up with easier and ensuring they stay safe every step of the way.