UNICEF and ARM partner in Wearables for Good challenge
UNICEF and ARM today announced their Wearables for Good challenge, a joint effort to hasten the development of new technologies that are intended to help millions of families gain access to basic health, education and support services. The duo says their initial plan is to collaborate with global product strategy and design firm, frog, on the “Wearables for Good” project, in order to create devices that could help address maternal and child health problems in underdeveloped countries.
The partners say the cooperation is intended to aid UNICEF in providing quicker and more comprehensive assistance to children who are suffering the negative impacts of mass urbanization and socioeconomic inequality. UNICEF and ARM say they will combine their influence to encourage technology companies to “innovate for impact.”
The organizations say that initial developments include:
· Wearables for Good design challenge- Over a period of 6 months developers, designers, community partners and problem-solvers are invited to design a wearable device that offers an inexpensive, efficient, and sustainable solution to maternal, newborn or child health problems. When the design challenge ends, 2 winners will be selected, and each winner will be awarded $15,000 along with incubation and mentorship support from ARM and frog. The Wearables for Good design challenge went live today, May 19, 2015, and entry details can be found at http://wearablesforgood.com.
· ARM will work with UNICEF’s network of Innovation Labs and country offices to identify and support pilot projects that have the potential to be implemented at a national level.
· Conduct research to evaluate and promote market opportunities in developing countries. UNICEF and ARM will use the findings to determine feasibility of investing in solutions for mobile financial services, identity, transportation, learning and wearable/sensor technology. The partners’ goal is to increase demand for globally co-created and scalable technologies that attract commercial investment.
Erica Kochi, Co-lead of UNICEF Innovation, commented on the partership, “We need to innovate with social purpose in order to overcome the barriers of time, distance and lack of information that prevent millions of children from surviving and realizing their potential. By working together with ARM we 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.”
Simon Segars, CEO of ARM, added, “Technology should be used to create opportunity for all; improving child health, education and prospects, and access to it should not be governed by economic status or geography. 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.”