High-tech spoon designed to counteract tremors in Parkinson's patients

Aug. 21, 2013 at 8:00 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. maker of a so-called smart spoon says it will help stabilize tremors in people with Parkinson's disease and related disorders.

San Francisco's Lift Labs says its Liftware Spoon uses an "active cancellation of tremor" technology that works to counteract tremors in the hand and help prevent spills, CNET reported Wednesday.

"The idea is to use active cancellation [currently employed in noise-canceling headphones] to stabilize larger-scale motion," Anupam Pathak, founder of Lynx Design, which is behind Lift Labs, said in a statement.

While working toward his doctorate on new materials to be used for active cancellation in the military, Pathak said, he "figured out how to make the hardware for active cancellation of human tremor very small, and realized that this would be the perfect application for active cancellation technology."

The Liftware spoon constantly steadies itself even when the user is shaking, using embedded sensors to detect motion and distinguish between unintended tremors and intentional movements such as lifting the spoon to the mouth.

Motors in the handle move the spoon and cancel tremors both horizontally and vertically.

Lift Labs said the spoon would go on sale in September.

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