Exercise, for both the mind and the body, is arguably the most important component to staying healthy as you age. Hand exercises for those suffering from Rhuematoid arthritis help keep joints flexible and strong while memory exercises have proven to help the elderly keep mentally fit.
As we've recently seen a boom in fitness wearables (Nike Fuelband, Fitbit, and Jawbone Up), the next emerging market for wearables may just be the aging Baby Boomer population.
Products like BrainTap are hints as to what may come as companies begin to focus on health and wellness promotion for an aging population.
Developed by Andrew Huynh, Adrian Abele, Mason Shao, Jayson Fong and James Taylor, BrainTap is a prototype of a wearable gaming device that encourages exercise for chronic arthritis. The wearable system comprises a glove, outfitted with LEDs and motors for haptic feedback, linked to a retro-looking product. The product relays a light pattern (Red, Green, Blue and Orange) which the user is intended to mimic with his gloved fingers accordingly.
How it works
The game not only exercises one's arthritic fingers but also one's memory. Combining gaming with finger exercises can make the daily task quite a bit more fun and a little added competition can ensure that the user will keep his fingers fit.
My main critique is that it seems superfluous to link the wearable (especially physically) to a large clunky product. The product can easily be replaced by a mobile phone or ipad, allowing for a much more interesting user experience.