Google invest in new anti-shake spoon aimed to help Parkinson's sufferers

The spoon is said to reduce the impact of shaking brought on by Parkinson's and other conditions that cause tremors by 76 per cent

Jack Simpson
Tuesday 25 November 2014 16:17
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The spoon was first release in September 2013 by Lift Lab
The spoon was first release in September 2013 by Lift Lab

Google has decided to fund a new spoon designed to aid those who suffer from Parkinson’s and other conditions that cause body tremors.

Lift Lab was bought by Google in September and the tech giant has invested heavily in the development of their anti-shake Liftware Spoon.

The Liftware was first released by the Lift Lab in September 2013 and it claims to reduce the effects of shaking by up to 76 per cent.

According to the company, hundreds of complex algorithms are used to sense exactly how a hand is moving, and these send messages to the spoon to ensure adjustments are made so that the spoon stays balanced.

Google jumped onto the project in September this year, and have since assisted in its development.

Commenting on their investment, Google spokesperson Katelin Jabbari said: “We want to help people in their daily lives today and hopefully increase understanding of disease in the long run.”

Currently, there are over 10 million people in the world suffering from Parkinson’s and Essential Tremor disorder, including Google co-founder Sergey Brin's mother. It is hoped the new spoon can help alleviate some of the problems these people face.

UC San Francisco Medical Center neurologist Dr. Jill Ostrem believes that it can.

“It doesn't cure the disease, they still have tremor, but it's a very positive change,” said Dr Ostrem, “I have some patients who couldn't eat independently, they had to be fed, and now they can eat on their own.”

Many have already benefited from the invention.

Shirin Vala, 65, of Oakland, purchased one of the spoons last year after suffering from essential tremor syndrome for ten years, and believes tthat the spoon has had a massive impact on her life.

“The spoon has definitely improved my situation,” said Vala, “I was surprised that I held the food in there so much better. It makes eating much easier, especially if I'm out at a restaurant.“

The investment into the Liftware spoon marks an expansion of Google’s activities into the life science technology sector.

Alongside the Liftware spoon, the research arm of the company, Google X, has recently invested in developing smart contact lenses for diabetics and looking into how nanoparticles can be examined to help detect diseases earlier.

Additional Reporting AP

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