Last fall, Lift Labs introduced Liftware to help people whose hand tremor gets in the way of simple tasks like eating. We started shipping Liftware in December, and we've been blown away by the positive response from both Liftware users and the community.
We've had people from around the world ask what they can do to help, and many have decided to help purchase Liftware for people in need. Thanks to their generosity, we've already raised enough money to purchase 25 Liftware devices for those who don't have the means to buy Liftware themselves.
Lift Labs match challenge
This March, in honor of Essential Tremor awareness month, we are introducing the Lift Labs March Match Tremor Campaign. Through the month of March, you can buy a Liftware (or part of a Liftware device) for someone in need through Indiegogo. Lift Labs will match your contributions, dollar for dollar, up to $50,000.
That means for every $295 raised (the cost of one Liftware device), Lift Labs will send two Liftware devices to the International Essential Tremor Foundation, who has partnered to distribute Liftware to individuals in economic hardship.
Living with Tremor
For many of us, eating is one of the most basic and intuitive tasks in our day. But when you live with tremor, eating becomes a time-consuming and frustrating task. More than 10 million people in the US live with Essential Tremor or Parkinson’s Disease. In a study of people with Essential Tremor, 85% reported negative impacts on their livelihood and social life, and 65% said they stopped eating in restaurants.The solutions for addressing tremor are limited. Medications are only effective in 30% of cases and are not well tolerated due to side effects. Surgical interventions are costly and risky. Braces and other mechanical stabilizers are obtrusive, uncomfortable, and too impractical for providing any remedy to the social effects of tremor
Liftware has already provided relief to many of our customers. Foods like soup and rice are back on the menu for Liftware users, and we'd like to provide similar benefit to others struggling with their tremor who can't afford the cost of the device.
Liftware technology grew out of the PhD research of Anupam Pathak (CEO and founder), but was inspired by our friends and family who struggle with their tremor to do tasks that should be simple and enjoyable. We embarked on our journey to create a technology that could make life easier for our friends with tremor and restore dignity and peace of mind during mealtime and throughout the day.
Liftware operates using Active Cancellation of Tremor (ACT) technology developed at Lift Labs. Active cancellation of unwanted motion has been used in the suspension of cars, in the barrels of tanks traversing rough terrain, and Segways. These systems can be quite complex, and are too large for flatware. At Lift Labs, we innovated to reduce the size and weight of similar cancellation systems by orders of magnitude. The result is a form-factor similar to an electric toothbrush.
Watch Liftware stabilization in action:
The device turns on automatically when held. An accelerometer measures the tremor in the vertical and horizontal directions. The spoon’s controller is capable of differentiating tremor from intentional motion, and it responds using two motors in the handle that move the spoon to counteract the sensed tremor. When the spoon is set down, it shuts off automatically to save energy.
BBC World Service: Click: Liftware
WIRED magazine: A New Spoon for Shaky Eaters
The Atlantic: A Spoon for People with Parkinson's
The Doctors: Smart Spoon to Counteract Hand Tremors
ABC7 News KGO-TV: Tremor Spoon Helps Stabilize Shaking Hand
Yahoo! News: Smart Spoon May Help Control Parkinson's Tremors
UofMHealth.org: Shaky Hand, Stable SpoonGadget Review: Liftware Spoon Helps with Parkinson's Tremors
Proud to manufacture in the USA
We are hard at work in our factory in Fremont, California making more Liftware devices every day.
Here's how March Match works:
- You can contribute whatever amount works for you through this Indiegogo campaign.
- We'll match contributions up to a total of $50,000 dollar for dollar. That means that for every $295 raised (the cost of one spoon), two people in need will receive a Liftware device.
- At the end of the campaign we send all the devices paid for by this campaign to the International Essential Tremor Foundation.
- People who can't afford Liftware can send financial need applications to the IETF. The IETF selects recipients, and distributes the devices purchased through the campaign.
Liftware is already making a difference:
We just gave one of these marvelous spoons to my 94 year old Dad. My Mother says it best: "Words can't express how wonderful this product is!" I asked my Dad to list any negatives about this product so I could write a review. He said, "There aren't any negatives." With tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, I say thank you for what you have invented.
Susan H. (written on our Facebook Wall)
I ate a bowl of cereal this morning for the first time in years! Mornings are always the worst for me, until my meds kick in, so I'd given up trying to fight with breakfast cereal - Donna and I sat and ate together and giggled about the little robot in my hand. Thank you for such a wonderful gift to the ET community.
Eric H. (email)
One of my Christmas blessings was watching my Granny eat two pieces of my birthday cake with her new spoon! She is so happy, and so am I! Thanks so much for this wonderful blessing! I can't wait to spread the word about your product!
Elizabeth H. (written on our Facebook Wall)
I had Chinese food yesterday and as usual with a regular spoon, it went all over unless I used two hands to hold it. Today I brought the spoon to work and am now eating my leftovers with one hand and not one piece falling all over the place. This is absolutely incredible.
Kelly K. (email)
It's simple to use and is surprisingly comfortable in the hand. I thought it might be awkward, but it isn't at all. I'm thoroughly enjoying my spoon! I received my Liftware Spoon on Monday and have used it everyday since. I must admit I was skeptical about it, but was immediately impressed on first use! It actually does help significantly!! I now find excuses to use it!
Bev M. (email)
My grandmother is doing great at 99 and is using her spoon everyday! You have a wonderful product, keep up the great work. Feel free to tell people that you have a 99 year-old that is using your spoon.
Leslie M. (email)
I can't thank you enough for creating the Liftware Spoon. Although I've only had it for one week, it's been the best week I can remember in a long time. Multiple bowls of cereal and soup ... and I haven't spilled anything. No small feat for a girl with ET.
Tracy T. (email)
I agree that this tool has brought back the love of eating cereal or peas or corn for anyone with tremors. My favorite has been rice! We love Chinese food and trying to use a fork or chopsticks has been tricky if not impossible. I no longer have to be uncomfortable or worry about it. Thank you for making that possible.
Polly L. (email)
We went out with another couple and I had my spoon with me. They were amazed at it. THANK YOU
Other Ways You Can Help
Even if you can't contribute, we can still use your help!
- Help spread the word about this campaign. Tweet about us, Like us on Facebook and then post a link to this campaign on your timeline.
- Tell your friends, tell your family!
- Post us on your blog.
- Use the built-in share tools on this Indiegogo page.