The Liftware Steady is designed to aid people with hand tremors to comfortably have their meals. Using sensors that detects hand motion and an onboard computer, it distinguishes between intended and unintended motions. The Liftware Steady helps to stabilise 70% of the motion and also helps to reduce spills. With interchangeable attachments, the device can be used as a soup spoon, everyday spoon, fork or spork.
How does it work?
The computer inside the device sends data to the 2 motors inside the handle and directs it to move in the opposite direction of the tremor, thus counteracting the unintended motion.
Why is this senses?
Honestly, I had no idea what a “sense” device would be. Nonetheless, I figured it is a device somehow connected to our 5 senses; sight, sound, taste, smell and touch. So, I thought a product that improves your senses? At first, I wanted to do some research on a sleeping mask that helps you lucid dream. Interesting aye? But afterwards, I decided, nahhh.
Then, I thought about devices that help to replace or aid the senses. Thus, I decided on finding assistive devices for the disabled and I remembered seeing a device a couple of years back that helps with hand tremors. With a little bit of research, I found it.
- Intuitive. It is a device that easy to use and understand. It functions in the same way as how you would use your normal cutleries. There is no need for a manual on how to use the product. After reading some reviews of the product, I realised that many users purchase the product for their elderly parents. With its ease of use, even the elderly won’t have any trouble using the product.
- The charging mechanism of the product is also easy to understand. Just plug in the charging cradle into an outlet and attach the stabilizing handle to the cradle. Works like how you would charge your phone.
- And my favourite pros of the product. *Drum rolls* The emotional boost it gives to its users. I can’t speak for people who have tremors but it must be difficult to enjoy their meals. Especially if they are out for a meal. Some people find it so difficult to feed themselves, that they had to resort to having someone feed them. With the Liftware Steady, it allows people with hand tremors to be independent and not worry about spilling. Reading through reviews, I can’t help but feel touched by the stories of how happy people felt being able to comfortably eat without spilling. One story speaks about how someone was finally able to eat cereal after many years. This is the kind of products that empowers me to be a designer that can change the world, or make someone’s life better.
- As much as it is easy to use, the size of the handle is definitely a disadvantage. Looking at it from the technological aspect, they probably had to design the handle in that size to accommodate all the sensors, computer and motors. Nonetheless, because of the size of the handle, the grip might be an issue which would take some getting used to. I am sure with the future technological development of smaller chips and motors, the design of the product could be better improved.
- Unfortunately, I read many reviews of the device not being able to last for very long. One reason was the result of contact with water. As much as the instructions that are given states that the handle should not be in contact with water, I think it can’t be help that it is still in fact a kitchen utensil. Naturally, it comes in contact with a little water, such as the moisture from after cleaning the attachment. Again, this is more of a technological issue, the problem could be easily solved by making the electronics inside waterproof. Easy to say, but probably difficult to make.
As seen from the cons, the device has technological limitations. Probably with the advancement in nanotechnology and waterproofing, we can look forward to better, improved products.
While researching and reading up about the product, I thought this technology could also probably people with anxiety or anyone who experiences trembling.
Personally, I get really nervous when I’m speaking on stage with a microphone. Everyone can probably see my nerves getting the better of me, not from my shaking voice, but my shivering hands holding the mike.
Now, imagine if a microphone has the same stabilising function as the Liftware Steady? I can be rid of this embarrassment. Yay!
On a serious note, it can really help people who have stage fright.