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UNICEF Uses Wearable Technology To Empower Kids And Save Lives
By: Jennifer Graber
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Practically everyone these days utilizes a piece of wearable technology or knows someone who does. We track our steps. We count our miles. We calculate calories. You name it, we use wearable tech to do it. But does your wearable tech literally convert energy and activity into food? Well, it soon will. UNICEF is launching a special project that will put wearable tech to work in generating food donations for malnourished children.
 
UNICEF is launching a special program called Kid Power. UNICEF’s new program is designed to empower “a new generation of global citizens.” The program is designed to educate and create action. Kids are first supposed to learn about hunger and malnourishment around the world. This will, ideally, open the eyes of kids to what others face who are just like them. Kids often do not see beyond their world and are unaware that such terrible things exist.
 
The next step in the process is for kids to receive the Kid Power Band. The Kid Power Band is a piece of wearable tech that will track activity and movement. So kids need to get out there and get moving. Kids can play, compete, run, jump, and exercise. These healthful movements will be logged as Kid Power Points. This is all very similar to other pieces of wearable tech out there. However, this is where it begins to differ.
 
The points from the power band are then converted into real dollars. That is right — actual dollars that can be spent on therapeutic food. Therapeutic food is a “specially-designed protein and vitamin-rich peanut paste.” This paste is life-saving to a child who suffers from malnourishment.  UNICEF will be responsible for obtaining and delivering the therapeutic food to children in need around the world.
 
UNICEF’s program will feature a limited release in March 2015 in major cities like Boston, New York City, and Dallas. The organization plans to grow the program with a wider release as early as the spring of 2016. However, you can contact UNICEF about bring Kid Power to your town.
 
UNICEF’s wearable kid tech is a novel concept. It is taking a piece of our digital world and harnessing its power for good, creating something children can relate to. The program will teach kids about a healthy lifestyle and getting outside to play. At the same time, the program will also teach kids about giving back to those less fortunate. And it may seem far-fetched to say, but I believe this will help show kids that technology can actually be used for good. We see so much of the negative side effects of technology, so it is always refreshing to see things that challenge that notion.
 
I only wish the Kid Power Band was available to adults. This is something I think many adults could get on board with. What better motivation to move it than knowing you are helping someone?


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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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