Google X, the research division of tech giant Google, has just announced that it has acquired Lift Labs, a company working on devices for people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and essential tremor. The company is best known for its “tremor-canceling spoon.”
Lift Labs announced the deal on Google+, noting that, “We will continue to sell our Liftware system, and Google will enable us to reach even more people living with Parkinson’s or essential tremor who could benefit from using tremor-canceling devices every day.” Google confirmed it as well on Google+, adding that it will also use the company’s technology to explore additional ways to help people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.
The original spoon Lift Labs developed is equipped with sensors that detect tremors and cancel them out by as much as 70 percent. Its technology is actually an extension of the image stabilization features in cameras that compensate for the natural hand jitters when taking a photo.
While Google X works on a big variety of projects including the driverless car, the Internet balloons, and Google Glass, it does also work on life sciences projects as well. Its most well-known is Calico, its “life-extension” project for which it has hired several renown experts, such as Dr. Robert Cohen, molecular biologist Cynthia Kenyon, and Princeton University genetics researcher David Botstein, to serve as advisers.
Although Calico will be developing anti-aging drugs in partnership with AbbVie and there’s no clear indication the two will work together, this acquisition is another step in Google’s foray into human health and what it can do with technology in that realm.