Google Buys Lift Labs' Liftware Spoon

About a year and a half ago, I took a look at the Liftware Spoon from Lift Labs, a tremor-cancelling spoon designed for those with neurological problems such as Parkinson's disease or MS. This fall, Google announced it bought the company and the spoon, although you can pretty much rest assured it won't stop with the spoons... the technology itself is pretty amazing.

The spoon uses onboard motors to offset tremors, allowing a person to feed themselves while greatly reducing the possibility of dumping food off the spoon into their laps. It doesn't just act as a shock absorber, but rather actively counteracts tremors while simultaneously interpreting the difference between unintentional tremors and purposeful movement between plate and mouth.

Google has been expanding more and more into robotics lately, and especially into home robotics, so this purchase makes all sorts of sense. Active technology such as what the Liftware Spoon uses has been around for a while, but it's usually prohibitively expensive and also unwieldy. Lift Labs managed to put it into a generally useful, not horribly expensive package, and Google wants to make the most of it.

The purchase has been filed under the GoogleX brand, and there have been no numbers released as to what it might have cost. I'm hoping one of their first moves will be to figure out how to produce it even more inexpensively, because I still really want one for my dad.

Source: Geek.com

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