Wearables for Social Good
International children's charity Unicef has teamed up with global design agency Frog Design and British software company ARM to launch a design challenge to create a wearable for social good.
The Wearables for Good challenge was launched at US media brand Quartz's The Next Billion conference in London last week, and is part of a wider partnership between ARM and Unicef to accelerate the development of wearables for emerging markets.
The six-month competition aims to take advantage of the falling costs of hardware to develop a wearable that addresses maternal and child-health needs in emerging economies, according to Blair Palmer, innovation lab lead for Unicef.
"What if we had a way to passively collect data from women who are pregnant to monitor their nutrition, so we could ensure a healthy birth weight for children worldwide? Those are the kinds of ideas we are looking for," she said at the conference.
The competition handbook outlines four focus areas for entrants: alert and response; diagnosis, treatment and referral; behaviour change; and data collection and insight. These four categories could cover scenarios ranging from disaster relief to encouraging better personal hygiene.
Applications are open until August 4 2015, with two winners to be announced in autumn 2015. The winners will receive $15,000 of funding and three months of mentoring from ARM and Frog to help develop the ideas to prototype stage.
Look out for further coverage of Quartz: The Next Billion, coming soon to Stylus. In the meantime, discover more about design for social good by reading Social Innovation and Outreach: Mobile Solutions.