08. 22. 2006
The handSteady helps those with hand tremors
Chris Peacock recently won two design awards for his innovative solution to overcome the awkwardness of uncontrollable hand tremors. The design goal of the handSteady was simply to allow partially disabled people to socialize over cocktails. By holding the cup in a shock absorbing mount the liquid inside the glass remains calm though the hand holding it is unsteady. Itís truly a simple implementation, but a fantastic one none the less.
The BBC tells the story of Tonia Wells, who has lived with the condition for over thirty years. She relates that many sufferers will not drink in public due to the embarrassment over spills and broken glasses. Three hundred million people suffer from body tremors. Some are hereditary, but other cases are caused by afflictions such as Parkinsonís disease.
Last March Jim Levine, an IBM engineer, developed the Assistive Mouse Adapter to help an uncle who is afflicted with tremors use a standard computer mouse. By applying the same stabilization algorithms found in digital cameras, he was able to filter out unwanted hand movements. Iíve always loved design which addresses a problem of the human condition, and I'd like to say "bravo" to Mr. Peacock.