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Five (pretty smart) watches – acknowledging that seniors exist

Should smart watches target and serve seniors? Erik Wicklund observed in mHealth News that the smartwatch hype about Apple’s rock-the-world has mesmerized the media. He mentions Microsoft Band and Pebble. Really from a hype-opmeter perspective, that was gracious, but those products already shipping are not generally thought of as ‘MAGICAL.’  Do seniors need a Smartwatch? Does anyone need all the smarts being invented?  Let’s just call that a rhetorical question for now. Note these five smart watches for seniors, in alphabetical order, information from websites or reviews. These are available now or planned to be released soon:

Burg 31 Cellphone Watch. "The $129 Burg 31, which comes with analog hands, incorporates GPS to track kids and seniors. For emergencies, it provides one-touch 911 calls and speed dialing of up to three pre-set numbers without the use of a Bluetooth-connected smartphone. The watch makes and receives calls using an included SIM card, though it can also be paired with Android phones, iPhones and other smartphones to place calls via Bluetooth.The water-resistant device, which also sends and receives texts, delivers two-day standby time, two to three hours of talk time, and three to four hours of music playback.  The $129 price includes SIM card, USB to Micro USB cable, 4GB Micro SD card that can be upgraded to 16GB, headphones, watch battery, and stylus. Designed by Hermen van den Burg, the Dutch lifestyle designer for Ikea and Target." Learn somewhat more at from Press Release.

G2i Emergency Watch.  "The Emergency Watch from Limmex is developed in Switzerland and is being manufactured in the heart of the Swiss watch industry. While it looks like a sleek, sophisticated wristwatch, the device hides inside of it a completely integrated mobile phone. With the push of a button the watch calls up family members and/or friends according to a stored list of numbers. The watch keeps calling the numbers in sequential order until the call is answered. Once the call is picked up, the wearer can talk to the person on the other end via a 2-way voice speaker system." Pre-order.  Learn more at G2iHome.

Kanega Watch from UnaliWear. “In addition to providing the time and date information, the Kanega watch contains cellular, Wi-Fi, and GPS communications, continuous speech recognition, and a 9-axis accelerometer for fall detection.  Kanega handles all daily intelligence for providing an unobtrusive continuous welfare check.  The display includes lighting for use at night.  Kanega also includes Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE, also called Bluetooth Smart) communications, which allows wearers with the newest generation of hearing aids that include BLE to have their watch speak only into their hearing aids, never out loud.” Kickstarter campaign.

Lively Safety Watch with Home Hub.  This watch is "equipped with intelligent medication reminders, a pedometer that counts daily steps and 24/7 personal emergency response at the push of a button. The Lively safety watch is available in 10 different color combinations with a modern, fashionable design in stark contrast to PERS devices that have traditionally been available on the market, therefore encouraging more consistent use. The resulting activity data is used to provide users with 24/7 help when it’s needed as well as reminders to stay mindful of healthy habits while providing family members insight about how an elder loved one is doing through the Lively mobile app, text messages or email." Learn more at myLively.com.

Tempo by CarePredict. "CarePredict™ Tempo™ is a wrist-worn sensor with sophisticated software. It has a band that switches out for different looks. The sensor detects motion – walking, running, sitting, standing, or lying down – and location; and the software figures out the activities. It transmits data and charges wirelessly so there are no cords or plugs. CarePredict™ Tempo™ uses beacons to understand its location in the home. It sends information to the cloud through a hub to be analyzed on our secure servers. The beacons are small and battery-operated. The hub is discrete and plugged into an outlet and can use your home’s Internet connection or its own." Pre-order. Learn more at CarePredict.



These watches seem to be getting there, have you seen what Better Alerts is doing in the Mobile PERS Space? You should see what they are doing with an open platform.

These watches seem to be getting there. But they are not accepted by the persons who must need them. Working with numerous elders with Alzheimer's disease, I see how they don't want to keep on these watches. The more I work on it, the more I think that smart soles from GTX are the answer.

Just wondering about being from GTX?

Sorry, I'm not from GTX. Otherwise I would have said so. I just work with seniors. I read your blog once a week and like your insights. What do you think of soles?

Back in the GPS shoe day:


This is better, but the limitation is that it requires that someone is paying close attention. 

The advantage is that the insole can be placed into different pairs of shoes.

If it works well for people with Alzheimer's I would love to hear.




We may try them and will keep you posted. All the best - Cristelle

The first iteration of the product my startup is working on had integration with the Pebble Watch. We had the ability to make emergency calls to your defined contacts using a single button, we had reminders, the watch would tell you if you left your phone behind etc. One of the main problems that we ran into was the amount of customer support we had to supply just to get the bluetooth to work. We had to drop the smartwatch because the barriers to use were just too high.

On the other hand, there is one very compelling element of the smartwatch that makes it really compelling: it is attached to the body, as opposed to a phone, which is easily left behind. For this reason, we still consider that the smartwatch will come back into our product someday.

Very cool, useful technologies. Love the evolution from the big button pendant around the neck :)

Valerie Arraj

Cofounder, Compliance Process Partners, IT Service Management process consulting, automation, and training

...because it sounds like the main goal is tracking demented people. Try to remember the two things aren't inextricably linked. Thanks.


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