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A Watch That Saves Lives

April 8, 2016

Kidpower Band by UNICEF

By Riley T. & Zoe K.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), an organization that helps children around the world, created a new watch that can keep kids active while saving lives.

The UNICEF Kid Power Band tells the time, counts your steps, and shows your Kid Power points, your user name, and how close you are to your next mission. According to the Kid Power website, “Kid Power Missions are virtual journeys with Team Members to countries receiving therapeutic food packets.”

If you walk a certain number of steps you earn a Kid Power Point. If you get ten Kid Power Points you earn an RUTF packet to be donated to people in places that suffer from malnutrition. RUTF stands for “Ready to Use Therapeutic Food.” RUTF packets are like very healthy peanut butter.

Malnutrition happens when your body does not get enough nutrition so you don’t have enough energy to play or get active. Kids normally suffer the most, but together we can stop malnutrition all together if we work as a team. If some one gets 150 packets they will not need the RUTF packets any more and will be all better.

The designers used kids from Montclair Elementary to help them design the bands. We went to their office and they brought out five prototypes. We each got a prototype to try on. We told them things that we thought were good and bad about the bands. We thought the nylon band was uncomfortable and that the velcro connectors itchy. We told them it should be softer and maybe a rubbery material would be better.

“The kids helped by having a lot of opinions about what they liked and didn’t like with previous bands and wristbands in general,” said the head designer. “We also went to New York to look at kids in their classrooms. We looked at what backpacks they were using, what clothes and shoes they liked. What stuff they had on their desks. Anything that could give us a clue what they liked.”

The designers made very good changes according to our input. Some kids from Montclair got invited to a photoshoot for the bands.

If you want a UNICEF band, you can buy them online.

QUESTION FOR THE HEAD DESIGNER

Is the UNICEF Kid Power Band ecosystem friendly?

I really wish it was but unfortunately the band is not eco-friendly. We wanted to make this band affordable for a lot of kids and to make it affordable we needed to use these materials. Hopefully in the future we can make products like this eco-friendly. The best we can do as designers is to make products that people like and don’t through away. The best you can do as a consumer is to not buy too much stuff.

Photo: UNICEF

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