Renowned children’s charity UNICEF has teamed up with a major tech company to find a way to leverage wearable technology that can help mothers and children in emerging economies. The technology will be developed by ARM in collaboration with a design firm called Frog.
Called the Wearables for Good challenge, the initiative will be the start of a planned multi-year partnership that will ultimately seek to promote market opportunities in developing countries via transportation, learning, identity services, mobile financial services, and, of course, wearables. To start, though, the companies are being motivated by one key question: “Could wearable and sensor technology be the next mobile revolution?” The challenge will proceed as a competition, with a panel assessing entries based on a number of factors including design, sustainability, and, of course, impact. At its conclusion, the challenge will award two winners $15,000 each in funding, as well as mentorship assistance from Frog and ARM.
In a press release, UNICEF’s Co-leader of Innovation, Erica Kochi, spoke of the need “to innovate with social purpose” and explained that the partnership with ARM will “improve our ability to develop new technologies that impact children and help them grow up healthy, educated and able to positively contribute to their families, communities and wider economies.” For ARM’s part, CEO Simon Segars explained, “We have spent 25 years enabling life-changing technologies and together with UNICEF’s innovation experts we believe this partnership can deliver a positive social impact for children all-around the world.”
As wearable technology progresses, we are continuing to discover its potential to massively impact people’s lives, whether in the form of smart clothing that can help athletes or sensory devices that can aid those with disabilities. Now, UNICEF, ARM, and Frog may pioneer even more ways to leverage the technology to help those in need.