When we think of ways that technology can assist users, we tend to think of wearable devices. But one of the problems with wearables is that you have to remember to put it on. People are more likely to use a smart device if it is a natural part of their activities.

That’s the brilliance behind a new product from the French company, Nov’in, called the Dring. It is a cane with a smart device built right int it. For a person with impaired mobility who uses a cane, it’s natural for them to grab the Dring when they walk.

The cane has the array of motions sensors that you’d expect, but it goes beyond that. It has GPS to provide location data, and a cellular data connection to send data to a secure server. The information is analyzed and alerts can be generated if it detects a problem, such as a fall or reduced activity over time. Family members and caregivers can receive text messages, emails, or even a phone call. And there’s an emergency button that the user can press to summon help.

The Dring was a winner of the CES 2017 Innovation Award, recognition that it deserves for its thinking-outside-the-box design. It’s a good example of how Health Tech devices can fit naturally into a user’s daily activities while adding valuable functions.