Microsoft has created a clock that can help people with Parkinson's disease write more clearly. With the name of Emma Watch, this device sends vibrations to the brain that help control hand tremors. It is a wearable that allows you to rewrite and draw people with Parkinson's disease.
The company unveiled the clock during its creation conference. It is only a prototype at the moment, but it could represent a promising step forward in the use of portable technology to help people with specific conditions.
The origin of Emma Watch
Uncontrollable tremor is a common symptom of Parkinson, an incurable disease that affects more than 10 million people worldwide and causes loss of motor control. Emma Watch is named after Emma Lawton, a graphic designer with Parkinson who is a friend of the innovation director of Microsoft Research in Cambridge, Haiyan Zhang. Zhang created the watch especially for her. It has small vibration motors that send signals to distract Lawton's brain from trying to create the tremors. This It helps calm muscle movements and makes it easier to write, an important skill for a graphic designer.
As part of the BBC's Big The Fixed Life program, Zhang was recruited to help creative director Emma Lawton with her case of Parkinson, a disease that makes writing or drawing difficult. Haiyan thought a Smartwatch could help restore Lawton's control over his hands. She theorized that a device attached to the wrist composed of several sensitive vibrating cells could provide the stability that Lawton had begun to lose.
How the device works
Thus, according to Zhang, the bracelet is able to divert attention from the brain, distracting itself to the vibrations of the bracelet and leaving the focus of controlling hand tremors. The researcher believes that there is an internal war in which on the one hand the brain wants to control the movement and stop, and the other I want to move it. The force of the vibrations replaces the sensation of movement with that of stability, and although the tremors are still present, the brain thinks it is under control and reduces them, allowing more freedom to the bearer.
Emma Watch can undoubtedly be a before and after in people with Parkinson's disease, both in those who need it for day to day and for those who use it at work, as is the case of Lawton.