GyroGear/Skye GouldThe same technology that helps your iPhone know it's upside down could one day bring relief to millions of Parkinson's sufferers in the form of a self-steadying glove.
It's called GyroGlove.
Designed and developed by Joon Faii Ong, a medical student at Imperial College London and founder of GyroGear, the device helps stabilize a shaky hand by autocorrecting sudden, erratic behavior.
Users can eat soup and drink coffee without having to worry about embarrassing or potentially dangerous spills.
Joon says people with tremors report GyroGlove offers a slower-than-usual sensation of movement, almost as if they were moving through syrup. "It permits deliberate movement," he tells Tech Insider, "but cancels the fine tremor."
The developer hopes to bring GyroGlove to the market by mid-2016. By that time, the goal is to reduce tremor by up to 70% in the commercial model.
Joon already has seen plenty of success stories with the glove.
GyroGearRecently, a 71-year-old woman who had been battling severe tremors for 40 years tried the glove on. Once the gyroscope reached full speed, her trembling hand quieted to a gentler twitch, a video released to Tech Insider shows. With one hand she mimed drinking from a bottle of water. Normally, the action requires both hands, a firm grip, and total concentration.
Once GyroGear masters the science and design of the glove, it has its sights set on other applications. "The technology can readily be readily adapted to surgery, videography, photography, sports, physiotherapy," and perhaps other unexplored areas, the company said in a statement.
Filmmakers with shaky hands can resume the hobby or profession they once loved. Pitchers and quarterbacks could return to the diamond or field.
GyroGlove follows in the footsteps of other devices meant to curb shaky hands.
A company called Liftware sells spoons that counteract the forces produced by the user's hand to keep the utensil level. Another company, Eatwell, recently won the Stanford Design Challenge for its line of special-needs bowls, cups, and flatware.
"We truly never thought this would have such an impact on individuals," Joon tells Tech Insider. "Critically, the potential of the device and the feedback is what drives the entire team. We are fully committed to this, and more importantly, to restoring quality of life and independence to as many individuals as best we can."