Vibrating pen makes it easier for Parkinson's patients to write

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Vibrating pen makes it easier for Parkinson's patients to write

The ARC pen pictured above might look laughably large, but it could be the perfect option for folks with Parkinson's disease. It was created by a group of students from UK's Royal College of Art and the Imperial College London to combat a Parkinson's symptom called micrographia. That's characterized by a patient's handwriting becoming smaller and more cramped as they go along, to the point that it's not readable anymore. This pen prevents that from happening by stimulating key muscles through vibration (it's equipped with motors to make that happen), giving users more control over their hands. Further, its large size makes it more comfortable to hold than regular pens.

The team led by Lucy Jung started this project with something else in mind: they wanted to create a vibrating pen that can give non-patients a taste of what it feels like having to write with Parkinson's. Instead, they found that vibration enables larger and more legible handwriting, which really isn't that surprising. Remember Google X's vibrating spoon moonshot? That one allows patients to feed themselves without spilling anything, because vibrations counter the user's hand tremors. In fact, Jung and her team plan to equip other tools, such as makeup brushes and computer mice, with vibrating motors in the future.

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