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Introducing the Kanega Smartwatch for seniors

Posted on by Nichol and Hill Ltd
Jean Anne Booth

Jean Anne Booth

The most commonly voiced fears about ageing are the loss of independence in caring for ourselves and the worry about becoming a burden on others. The new Kanega smartwatch by UnaliWear, harnesses the latest technology to allow elderly people to continue living independently and with dignity for as long as possible. Kanega means speak in Cherokee and Unali means friend: the watch is a talking personal assistant.

UnaliWear Kanega watch

The Kanega watch. Image courtesy of

Creator, Jean Anne Booth, designed the Kanega in consultation with focus groups and especially with her elderly mother and her twin sister, two very stylish ladies. It has no large “help” buttons and looks like a traditional watch, thus avoiding the need to wear something which shouts vulnerability and dependence. It operates independently and is not connected to a smartphone, a gadget which many older people do not have or want. Unlike other personal assistance products, the Kanega allows the wearer to remain in complete control of their lives.


The stylish wearable for seniors

The Kanega watch is designed to be worn all the time. It is waterproof and looks good worn on any watch strap you choose; with a waterproof strap it can be worn in the bath or shower, places where many falls occur. Prompts are audible and, for the hard of hearing, can be can be delivered via Bluetooth Low Energy to a hearing aid. For discretion, the watch gives a vibrate alert before speaking. Prompts are audible and, for the hard of hearing, are delivered via Bluetooth Low Energy to a hearing aid.

The Kanega offers three main functions:

  • Support in the event of a fall

elderly fallTraditional personal emergency response systems means that elderly people are tethered to their homes and rapidly lose their independence. With the Kanega, the wearer can travel wherever they like and go about their daily life. Each night, the watch is updated automatically with information about the wearer’s daily routines. This means that if something untoward happens, for example, a fall or an unexpectedly prolonged period of inactivity, Kanega will alert assistance via the monitoring service.

  •  Medication reminders

MedicationOver half of all seniors over the age of 65 are taking more than five different medications per day, and it is very easy to forget to take a dose, or whether you have already taken it. Kanega offers the reassurance of a prompt reminder, both to its wearer and family members.

  • Support for people who wander

elderlyKanega comes with GPS installed and offers great reassurance for people who may wander and then be unable to remember directions to get home. If a person becomes lost, the monitoring system can track them.


Kickstarter Success

Kanega’s creators sought funding through Kickstarter and have been overwhelmed by the response. Having initially looked for an investment of $100,000, they received $110,000 from 306 backers. Many will receive a beta version of the watch and their feedback will be used to refine the design.

Nichol & Hill

When someone becomes forgetful or is suffering from dementia, careful design of the environment is of great assistance in helping to maintain independence. Strong, plain colours with high contrast in decoration and soft furnishings are useful visual aids to navigation. Nichol & Hill are experts in providing high-quality and stylish bespoke furniture and curtains to the care industry. For more information or further advice please feel free to give us a call.


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