One of the biggest challenges for people living with Parkinson’s is the difficulty to feed themselves, due to the shaking tremors associated with the disease. But help might be on the way. A new, high-tech, smart spoon promises to stabilize the vibrations.
LiftLabs, based in San Francisco, California, has developed a small device that tracks and compensates for small vibrations and tremors.
Anupam Pathak, the founder and CEO of LiftLabs, explained that the technology behind Liftware is similar to the image stabilization feature in high end cameras.
“What we have done is taken that same concept and applied it to a handheld device, that would help people with a lot larger jitters,” said Pathak. “So somebody with a neurological disorder might be moving up to an inch in magnitude. There is a little computer inside that is running an algorithm, that would basically sense the person’s motion, determine if that was intentional or unintended, and if it was unintended, move opposite to what that motion does.”
The result is that the $295 device remains smooth and level, despite the movement of the user’s arm or hand. Food that normally would fly off remains on the spoon.
“Being able to see somebody eat on their own for the first time, or even just eat better, has been a hugely impactful thing,” said Pathak.
A spoon is currently the only attachment for the Liftware device, but Pathak promises that more attachments – like a deeper soup spoon and a fork – will be available soon.