Google buys high-tech spoon maker, expands healthcare focus

Google Inc has acquired the maker of a high-tech spoon that helps people suffering from neurodegenerative tremors to eat, the Internet company`s latest foray into the healthcare and biotechnology market.

Reuters| Updated: Sep 11, 2014, 10:34 AM IST
Google buys high-tech spoon maker, expands healthcare focus

San Francisco: Google Inc has acquired the maker of a high-tech spoon that helps people suffering from neurodegenerative tremors to eat, the Internet company`s latest foray into the healthcare and biotechnology market.

The company is joining the Google[x] division, which focuses on projects such as self-driving cars and drones and which has a Life Sciences group, Google said on Wednesday.

Google did not say how much it paid for Lift Labs.

Lift`s tremor cancellation spoon, which costs $295, will continue to be available for sale, Lift said on its website on Wednesday. A sensor-packed handle on the spoon detects the hand tremors that afflict people with Parkinson`s disease and Essential Tremor, and uses technology to stabilize itself.

Google said in a post on its Google+ service on Wednesday that it would also explore how Lift`s technology "could be used in other ways to improve the understanding and management of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor."

Google co-founder Sergey Brin has said that he has a higher-than-average chance of contracting Parkinson’s disease, which afflicted his mother.

Google, the world`s No. 1 Internet search engine, has increasingly expanded into health-related services. Earlier this year Google said it was testing a special contact lens for diabetics that is capable of monitoring blood-sugar levels, and in 2013 Google created a separate company, Calico, which develops technologies to tackle health issues related to aging.