The Google Liftware spoon which uses hundreds of algorithms, allows people with tremors and Parkinson’s disease to eat without spilling. The new Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) technology is designed to sense the shaking of a hand and instantly adjusts to stay balanced. The Liftware spoons reduced shaking of the spoon by an average of 76% in several recent tests.
The tech giant got into the high-tech utensil business back in September, acquiring a tiny startup called Lift Labs for an undisclosed sum.
Lift Lab founder Anupam Pathak noted in an AP interview that the move from a four-person startup in San Fran to the sprawling Google campus in Mountain View has allowed him to be more creative.
Pathak and his team work for Google(x) Life Sciences, which has publicly disclosed that it is also working on a contact lens that can measure glucose levels in tears for diabetics, as well as studying ing how nanoparticles in blood might help detect diseases.
Statement from Google on Liftware spoon
Google spokeswoman Katelin Jabbari noted: “We want to help people in their daily lives today and hopefully increase understanding of disease in the long run.”
Statement from Dr. Jill Ostrem
“It’s totally novel,’’ said a neurologist at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, Dr. Jill Ostrem.
Ostrem advised the inventors and believes the new spoon device, which has a fork attachment, is a remarkable asset.
“I have some patients who couldn’t eat independently, they had to be fed, and now they can eat on their own,” she commented. ‘‘It doesn’t cure the disease — they still have tremor — but it’s a very positive change.”
Testimonial for the device
Sixty-five-year-old Shirin Vala of Oakland, California has had a tremor for a decade. She was attending an Essential Tremor meeting at a local clinic earlier this year when researchers asked for volunteers to try the new spoon.
Vala tried it out and gave feedback as the device was improved. When they became commercially avaialble at $295 each, she purchased one.
Eating some foods was a serious challenge before the spoon, Vala noted. ‘‘I was shaking and I had a hard time to keep the food on a spoon, especially soup or something like an olive or tomatoes or something. It is very embarrassing. It’s very frustrating.’’
The new spoon device made a huge difference for 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.’’