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Graphic Designer Gadget Invention by Microsoft

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After watching a program called “The Big Life Fix” on BBC, I was amazed to see how this graphic design gadget invention by Microsoft was developed.    

The BBC program brings together a group of inventors to help design and invent products that help individuals with debilitating conditions. They assist them with inventions to help them do everyday tasks that are otherwise difficult for them. One of the candidates was Emma Lawton, working in graphic design who has Parkinson’s disease.

Another case,  was a man was suffering from locked-in syndrome, where he was unable to communicate without the use of a letter board which was tiring and not always efficient. He needed to communicate with his wife and hospital staff daily, so the inventors designed him a state-of-the-art tablet with an easy-to-use touchpad with prompts. They even managed to find old video footage of him speaking so they could add his voice to the commands, including his laugh, which made his wife and pretty much anyone who watched it cry. It was a wonderful moment hearing his voice and laugh and of course, being able to tell his wife he loved her again. It was very moving for everyone involved.

The next candidate was a 34 year old woman named Emma Lawton, a talented Graphic designer from England. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2015 and suffers from uncontrollable shaking. Devastatingly, her work in graphic design was being affected greatly. The need to draw straight lines, sketch and write involved in graphic design was becoming impossible for Emma. She reached out to the show looking for some kind of invention to help with her plight.

Microsoft developer Haiyan Zhang was assigned to the job of helping Emma with her graphic design work for the program. She began brainstorming and quickly came up with a graphic design gadget invention in the form of a watch.

The watch vibrates with a distinctive pattern that has been designed to “disrupt the feedback loop between the brain and hand” quoted Microsoft.

The “Emma” watch, named after its owner was designed specifically for her, but will possibly be a huge revolution for Parkinson’s sufferers. More than 10,000,000 people worldwide have Parkinson’s and the concept of the Emma watch could change their lives radically for the better. By controlling the tremors, everyday tasks that were impossible or difficult, could be made possible and easier.

The graphic design gadget invention by Microsoft was a prototype and the unveiling was very emotional. Emma was able to draw a straight line for the first time in years, write her name properly and draw a perfect square. She was overjoyed and overwhelmed and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Her graphic design job would be secure and she would be able to live her dream. She was especially delighted at the compact and cool design of the watch. It has interchangeable colored straps and looks like a standard smart watch that we see on the market today.

Check out the video here –

The fantastic graphic design gadget invention by Microsoft’s Haiyan Zhang was invented out of necessity. She really felt for Emma and went above and beyond with her remarkable talent and genius innovation. Necessity is indeed the mother of all invention.

We hope this graphic design gadget can help other Parkinson’s sufferers with graphic design and much, much more in the future.

 Emma and Haiyan Zhang with the “Emma” watch
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