Healthy necklace and ‘soap-crayon’ scoop $15,000 UNICEF awards

12 Nov 2015

UNICEF’s Wearables for Good challenge is finally complete, with a data-storing necklace and a ‘soap-crayon’ bagging the top prize of $15,000 and incubation opportunities.

Khushi Baby and SoaPen caught the eye of the judges due to their obvious practical uses, with immediate health returns potentially on offer with significant ease in areas of poverty.

Both Khushi Baby and SoaPen are run by a combination of Indian and US teams, with UNICEF organiser Erica Kochi “excited” by what these products could bring to those in need.

Khushi Baby is simple in its premise, storing a two-year personal immunisation record for children, connecting with smartphones to send and receive information, while storing all content in the cloud.

SoaPen, meanwhile, is even more basic. A personal hygiene tool, the “soap-crayon” aims to encourage children aged three to six to wash their hands more often. Parents or teachers simply draw on the child’s hand, and they do the rest.

“UNICEF scans the near-future horizon focusing on areas undergoing rapid changes that could have a significant impact on children,” said Kochi.

“By showing how wearables and sensors can be reimagined for low-tech and unconnected environments, our winners were able to demonstrate the potential life-saving benefits these innovations can offer.”

Run in conjunction with ARM and Frog – processor manufacturer and strategy company, respectively – the competition saw 2,000 groups register, with 250 innovatively-designed products going forward for judging.

UNICEF image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic