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UNICEF, ARM bet on wearables to help the underprivileged

Agam Shah | May 20, 2015
Such devices are believed to have the ability to revolutionise health and education and improve the lives of millions in developing countries.

There's always the risk that the UNICEF-ARM effort, like some philanthropic efforts sponsored by tech companies, may run into trouble and controversy at some point. That has happened to Facebook's Internet.org, which aims to deliver free mobile Internet access to the underprivileged in developing countries. Internet.org was harshly criticized this week by the Electronic Frontier Foundation as being "not neutral, not secure, and not the Internet" and, in an open letter sent to Mark Zuckerberg, blasted by more than 60 other digital rights groups that said the program increases inequality and undermines net neutrality.

While the goals of the multi-year effort are lofty, UNICEF is optimistic that the partnership will yield the expected benefits. ARM's Segar said the first results may materialize in September or October.

For ARM, partnering with UNICEF is an opportunity to fulfill its corporate social responsibility strategy while improving product and licensing sales. ARM hopes its processors -- which dominate mobile devices -- will go into more wearables.

 

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