In most western societies the average age of the population is rising steadily (in Japan its 44, in Nigeria, 19) so the issue of elder care is a looming problem. As we age we need regular medication and fall victim to many medical challenges and one of the most debilitating is Alzheimers disease. Seniors who forget their medication, fall down or simply need to be monitored has created an entire industry going all the way back to the 1980's and Mrs. Fletcher exclaiming "I've fallen down and can't get up" . Now thanks to incredibly low power ARM processors and communications hardware we are at a point where we might just be able to deal with the elder care challenges coming our way.
My inspiration for this blog came from Jean Anne Booth who launched an Elder Care smart watch on Kickstarter this week. Jean Anne Booth is a famous engineer (at least in my opinion) who is a serial entrepreneur and former CEO of Luminary Micro who were first to market with the ARM Cortex-M3 (Luminary was purchased by Texas Instruments in 2012).
You can see a cool video of the UnaliWear watch here:
The UnaliWear system approach is to connect the watch to the cellular network (it also has Bluetooth) so it isn't dependent on wi-fi or being close to a smartphone which I think is a safer design decision. Jean's involvement in this project comes from the heart in that her mother and aunt are over 80 and are starting to experience the problems that we are going to face as we age.
Here is the watch and its unique feature set:
As I expected Jean Anne hasn't left the ARM world because the processor is an Microchip SAM4L and I'm sure we will hear more about the design in the comments. One interesting feature of the watch is the voice capability which looks very useful for this set of users. Jean Anne describes the watch as "a Wearable On-Star for Seniors" which is clever marketing (as expected). Check out all the features and get in touch with Jean Anne here.
If you get in on the Kickstarter now you can get the watch for $99. Is there someone you love who could benefit from this?