Google Life Sciences Collaborates with Ability Now to Design Better Technology for Individuals with Disabilities
Ability Now Bay Area has begun collaborating with engineers from Google Life Sciences (GLS) who were responsible for inventing the Liftware spoon. Liftware uses hundreds of algorithms to sense how a hand is shaking and makes instant adjustments to stay balanced. The spoon aims to help people with essential tremors and Parkinson’s disease and can reduce shaking of the spoon bowl by an average of 76%.
Engineers from GLS visited recently to observe how our participants might use technology and where they need assistance. A Google UX researcher also interviewed some of our program counselors, who spend 5-6 hours each day with our participants, to get as much detail as possible on their daily life. Because many of our participants have cerebral palsy, the physical disability can vary greatly from person to person, making the design of assistive devices that meets the needs of everyone difficult.
Some staff members of Ability Now were later invited to Google’s campus to discuss what kinds of technology our participants need and see a demonstration of the latest hardware that GLS has been working on. We are proud that our organization has the opportunity to communicate the unique needs of our members in order to better help those working to provide assistance.