Wearables are everywhere this year at SXSW 2015, and they’re not just for “these young kids today.”
A smartwatch that your grandparents can appreciate and certainly use made an epic splash at the festival in recent days.
We’re talking, of course, about what’s hailed as the “first smartwatch that helps seniors with discreet support for falls, medication reminders and a guard against wandering is now going to market and will be viewable at SXSW.”
The Kanega smartwatch prototype is the first wearable we’ve seen specifically for independent seniors.
It uses an easy speech interface rather than buttons, includes cellular and Wi-Fi technology, and updates medical information without typing.
“Statistics show that 80 percent of seniors don’t like the style of current assistive devices. What really makes the Kanega watch different is that it features a classical watch style without buttons, so there’s no stigma from wearing an assistive device, and it speaks to you. It helps extend a person’s independence with dignity,” says CEO Jean Anne Booth (a “serial entrepreneur”).
Booth says she designed the wearable “after her active, fashionable mother turned 80 and did not want to wear an assistive device that was ugly, stigmatizing and kept her tethered to her home.”
According to a news release, the watch will likely retail next year for roughly $299 with a “monthly fee of $35-$85 depending on the services requested.”