A ‘smart utensil’ to counteract tremorsBy Lift Labs
Liftware is a steadicam spoon to detect and correct the hand tremors that affect people suffering with movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s.
Its mechanics are not a million miles away from a hand blender—with a detachable handle that can be charged in a dock so the utensil can be washed separately. Accelerometers in the handle detect tremors, the microchip and sensors identify the direction and force of a tremor, while actuators motor the spoon in the opposite direction in order to compensate.
In the US alone, more than one million people have the incurable movement disorder of Parkinson’s, while tremors, the most common movement disorder, affect 10% of over-65-year-olds. Tremors consist of small, rapid movements and uncontrollable shaking, that are not restricted to, but are often most noticeable in the hands, interfering with eating, drinking and writing.
Anupam Pathak founder & CEO developed the ‘smart utensil’, which retails at $295, alongside scientists and engineers. ‘It’s an emotional thing,’ he says. ‘If people can’t do something as simple as eating they feel like they lose some independence and dignity. It really affects them.’
Their next innovations might include a keyholder, plus a fork and soup spoon - plans which will now be supported by the power of Google, who bought Lift Labs in September 2014.
Last updated: 09th of July, 2014