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Apple Watch Vs UnaliWear: Kanega: Which One Is the Better Fall Detection Watch?

Daniel Blechynden
Apple Watch
In the past, medical alert systems were usually specialized devices that could be used to monitor a person’s health and wellbeing. However, modern medical alert systems stretch to devices like smartwatches, including the UnaliWear Kanega and the Apple Watch (SE, 6, 7). Here, we compare the fall detection and other features of these 2 devices to help you understand just how well each functions.

1. Fall detection features

All Apple Watches from Series 4 and above come with highly functional fall detection tools. If you experience a fall while wearing your watch, you will receive an alert accompanied by a preset alarm. From here, you can alert the authorities with a tap of your screen. Alternatively, you can dismiss the alert by tapping the I’m OK button. 

One thing worth noting here is that the Apple Watch will automatically contact the authorities if you’re immobile following a fall. This can be a useful tool, but you also need to be aware of it and dismiss the alert if you’re okay. 

The Kanega Fall Detection Watch also comes with full fall detection features. Like the Apple Watch, it provides an on-screen alert accompanied by a buzz or alarm whenever it detects a fall. Instead of alerting emergency services directly if you don’t respond, it alerts the Kanega emergency response team, who will take action if necessary.

What sets the Kanega Watch apart is that it utilizes a unique fall-detection algorithm that improves over time. Unlike its competitors (including Apple Watch), the Kanega Watch constantly learns from fall (and non-fall) data in order to minimize false alerts. Plus, the Kanega Watch also has an 'optionality' feature that lets wearers customize their device's fall-detection sensitivity in order to work best for their lifestyle.

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2. Price

The Apple Watch Series 7 and the Apple Watch SE can both be purchased from the official Apple online store. A Series 7 device starts from $399, or $16.62 per month for 24 months. Alternatively, you can buy an older SE device for $279, or $11.62 per month over 24 months. Since it’s not monitored by any response team, there are no ongoing fees or monthly subscriptions. You will however have to pay a monthly fee to your mobile provider to keep the Apple Watch connected to the internet and cell network. 

On the other hand, the Kanega Watch comes with 2 different purchase options. If you’re willing to sign up for a 12-month monitoring contract, you will need to pay a $149 setup fee and an ongoing monitoring fee of $59.95 per month. 

Or you might like to go for the monthly plan. With this, you will pay a one-time setup fee of $449, along with a $69.95 per month ongoing monitoring fee. There’s also a full 30-day money-back guarantee available with both purchase options. 

The Apple Watch is clearly the most cost-effective option here, especially for long-term use. However, it doesn’t have a professional monitoring option, which will concern some.

3. External monitoring

With the Kanega Watch, you will benefit from 24/7/365 external monitoring through a certified, US-based response center. If you suffer a fall or other incident, you will be connected with a qualified emergency response professional who will be able to talk you through the most appropriate actions. 

In addition, Kanega’s emergency response operators will determine whether or not emergency services support is needed. If it is, they will get in contact with the relevant authorities, making sure that you’re never left alone and injured. 

Unfortunately, there are no professional monitoring services available with Apple Watch, which means that the Kanega Watch clearly comes out ahead here. 

4. Ease of Use

Both the Kanega Watch and the Apple Watch are very easy to set up and use. With the Kanega Watch, getting started is as simple as strapping it to your wrist, turning it on, and ensuring it remains charged. There are no complicated setup or installation processes. 

To switch on fall detection on your Apple Watch, you will need to open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Then head to the My Watch tab, tap the Emergency SOS button, and tap the button to toggle fall detection on or off. It’s worth noting that if you’re over 55, the fall detection feature will be turned on by default. 

There’s little to separate the two fall detection watches on the ease-of-use front. 

5. Battery Life

When you purchase a Kanega fall detection watch, you will receive 4 detachable batteries and a simple charger. Two of these batteries can be placed on charge whilst the other 2 are in use. According to the manufacturer, you should be switching your batteries once per day to ensure they don’t run flat. 

The removable batteries are a standout feature, as they enable you to wear your watch 24/7 without having to worry about plugging it in to charge. There’s even a small internal battery that holds enough charge for 15 minutes of call time in case you experience a fall while switching batteries. 

On the other hand, you will be lucky if your Apple Watch’s batteries last for 18 hours, even if you hardly use it. Then you will need to remove the device for charging, which means that it can’t be used for 24/7 fall detection purposes.

6. Water Resistance  

The Apple Watch has a water resistance rating of up to 50 meters. This means that you can use it in the shower, while swimming, or in other situations where you might get wet. It shouldn’t be used for scuba diving or during high-velocity water sports, but this shouldn’t be an issue if you’re wearing it for fall detection purposes. 

Meanwhile, the Kanega Watch has an IP67 waterproof rating. This basically means that it’s water-resistant against activities like showering or walking in the rain, but that it shouldn’t be fully immersed in water while swimming or performing similar activities. 

The Apple Watch comes out ahead here, but both devices have a sufficiently high water resistance rating for the majority of fall detection users. 

7. Voice Control

The Kanega Watch comes with full voice control capabilities. Many seniors who need a fall detection watch aren’t comfortable using modern touchscreen devices, and the ability to interact via voice does simplify things. On the plus side, you can also interact with your device via the button on the side. 

As with all modern Apple devices, the Apple Watch comes with full voice control through Siri. You will need to switch on voice interaction in the settings menu of your device. Then, simply say “Hey Siri” to begin interacting with your watch. You can change settings, search the internet, and, for example, ask your watch to record sounds or answer questions if required. 

8. Location Capabilities

The Apple Watch comes with built-in GPS tracking, which you can leverage to your benefit in a fall detection scenario. When fall detection is turned on, your device will keep track of your location. If you experience a fall and emergency services are notified, they will receive the GPS coordinates of your location, enabling them to respond in a fast and efficient manner. If required, your location can also be tracked by friends or family via the Find People app. 

The Kanega Watch has similar location-tracking abilities. Location data is collected and stored, although it can only be accessed by emergency response operators in the event of a fall. There’s no tracking app, which means there’s no way for friends or family members to keep tabs on your location. 

9. International Use

The Kanega Watch is only available for use in the United States. Although the company has stated that it plans to expand internationally in the future, you can’t currently use this fall detection device when overseas. 

On the other hand, the Apple Watch’s fall detection features can be used across the world. The device will automatically call the local emergency services number, and there’s no need to update your settings or specify your location. 

10. Smartphone Features

The Apple Watch is fully integrated with the rest of the Apple ecosystem, and it boasts excellent smartphone-like features. With a WiFi connection, you can make calls, send and receive messages, and interact with various apps, even if your connected iPhone isn’t in the vicinity. 

The Kanega Watch falls down here, as it doesn’t have any cell phone functionality at all. Its sole purpose is as a fall detection device, and it’s only able to contact the relevant response centers.

Conclusion

Both the Kanega Watch and the Apple Watch offer excellent fall detection tools. Both are easy to set up and use, offer full voice control, and boast great water resistance. The Apple Watch has much better smartphone features, can be used internationally and offers excellent location-tracking tools. The Kanega Watch comes with 24/7/365 monitoring by an emergency response team, and its battery life is much better. 

All things considered, we’d recommend going with an Apple Watch if you want a multi-functional smartwatch with fall detection capabilities. However, if fall detection is your number-one priority, the Kanega Watch’s round-the-clock monitoring and battery system make itan excellent choice.

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Daniel Blechynden
Contributing to many popular websites, Daniel’s writing focuses on technology, science, and dependable reviews. He holds degrees in Chemistry and Marine Science from the University of Western Australia and has been a regular critic of software, web hosting, website builders, and a variety of other tech products and services for several years, leaning on his academic background for rigor in research and writing.

The author of this article has been paid by Natural Intelligence to write this article. Neither the author nor Natural Intelligence provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or your local emergency number immediately.