Google buys ‘smartspoon’ company Lift Labs

12 Sep 2014

Lift Labs' 'smartspoon'

Led by Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin, who has an interest in healthcare technology, internet search giant Google has purchased Lift Labs, a developer of a ‘smartspoon’ to help the infirmed eat more easily.

The spoon has a large handle that contains both a battery and a system of electronics designed to stabilise the utensil in reaction to tremors, which would prove useful for those suffering from a number of motor-neuron diseases, according to the BBC.

According to Lift Labs, the spoon will be able to cancel out as much as 70pc of the tremors seen when a patient would attempt to eat with a normal spoon.

Lift Labs has said the acquisition will enable the company “to reach even more people living with Parkinson’s … who could benefit from using tremor-cancelling devices every day. ”

Under the deal, Lift Labs will now Google’s X division, the company’s research and development wing.

Google has begun expanding its profile in terms of healthcare. The company invested US$130m in Flatiron Health last May, making it its largest single health investment to date, while last July it embarked on an enormous health data project known as the Baseline Study.

The push behind Google’s interest in healthcare is largely believed to be due to Brin’s personal connection with diseases such as Parkinson’s – his mother has been diagnosed with the condition.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic