The market for so-called 'wearables' (mobile computer systems that the user wears on their body and which constantly measure data such as their pulse, temperature, or blood sugar levels and pass on when necessary) has been growing relentlessly for years. According to estimates, manufactureres of wearables will see profits of $23 billion within five years. Up till now, the majority of products have been relatively expensive and have been primarily targeted towards a health-conscious, sporty and (in particular) privileged group of consumers from industrialised nations.
But wearables can also fulfil a useful if not lifesaving function for people in developing countries, too. This means, however, that they need to be easier to produce, more affordable, and more robust.
For this reason, UNICEF has created a competition that calls on IT experts, designers, and NGO workers to work together to develop new, innovative products that benefit the most vulnerable groups in developing countries: women and children.
Applicants have just three months to develop and pitch ideas based around pre-defined scenarios.
Following an initial selection phase, ten applicants will have the chance to refine their idea with the help of coaches, before submitting a final concept. Two winners will ultimately be chosen and their wearable concepts put into practice.