Noise-cancelling headphones have changed the lives of airplane travelers for the better. These devices work by “listening” to the ambient sounds and creating sound waves that are the exact opposite. When these two waves combine, they cancel each other out, and the person wearing the headphones does not hear the surrounding noise. That same active-cancellation concept is behind a new device designed to help people with tremors, such as those with Parkinson’s Disease.
Lift Labs is a company devoted to helping patients deal with chronic tremors. Their Liftware active spoon is designed to sense a patient’s tremor, and immediately starts to cancel it out with opposite motion when it is picked up. According to the company, tests show that it is capable of cancelling 70% of the tremor motion. It is a wireless device, relying on a rechargeable battery for its power. The initial device comes with a spoon attachment, though the company is developing other attachments including one to hold a house key. Lift Labs is also working on related apps for smartphones that can measure and track a patient’s hand tremor.
This relatively simple idea has the potential to help patients be more self-sufficient. The Liftware spoon cost $295, and can be ordered directly from the company’s website.