New Microsoft Watch Can Quiet Parkinson’s Tremors

Tech giant Microsoft has just unveiled one of their newest, most innovative designs: a wristwatch that can temporarily halt tremors in people with Parkinson’s disease.

MORE: Inventor solves graphic designer’s problem with Parkinson’s tremors.

The prototype was showcased last week at the Microsoft Build 2017 event in Seattle, Washington. The watch works by vibrating in a certain pattern which disrupts the patient’s own tremors and quiets them. According to USA Today, the “Emma” watch was originally designed for a British graphic designer, whose Parkinson’s disease had left her unable to do her job. Microsoft engineers accepted a challenge on behalf of the BBC television program The Big Fix and astounded everyone when Emma was able to write her name while wearing the device.

Although the watch doesn’t cure tremors, it could offer a practical solution to millions of people living with the disease and the technology can be built upon to come up with other creative ideas that may help tremors in other parts of the body.

MORE: Designing hacks for life with Parkinson’s disease. 

Parkinsons’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

110 comments

  1. cheryl heuvelman says:

    when will the Emma watch be available for purchase and will medicare support the cost??
    Thank you

      • Coral says:

        It’s like false hope. “Look what we’ve done!”
        It’s not available and we don’t know when it will be.
        It’s terribly disheartening.

          • John says:

            I have to agree that this very depressing that Microsoft has a product they have made public yet isn’t available to the public yet.
            I am a Disabled Vietnam Veteran who was exposed to Agent Orange. I was one of the 1000 who had DBS in 2012 by the Doctors who were training other surgeons this new procedure @ U of U in SLC. I still had a slight tremor but over this past several months I am beginning to shuffle and lean forward. My balance has been horrible & falling a lot. My wife gets upset because my speech is very low sometimes barely audible. I had steady employment until 2002 but my shaky hands did not do well in high voltage splicing and finally had to quit my artwork, hunting & fishing. My loss of balance cost me dancing & other activities, all of which has thrown me in a very depressed state of mind, now there is a possible cure for maybe one hand that would allow me to return to a more fruitful & fulfilling life but it’s still not in production. I hope this isn’t “fake news!”

      • E. Jane says:

        You would think that if Apple, and all those cell phone companies can turn out “new and updated phones” every other day that Microsoft could turn out this important product at least as fast. There are so many people whose lives can be improved by this watch. I think this would far more important to people than another cell phone!

      • Ann Wray says:

        are there clinical trials? I think those with essential tremors would be very interested in this watch as well. My husband has essential tremors and his life would be much better without medication to calm the tremors.

  2. Beth Burney says:

    Are there plans to put this watch into production soon? My son who is a freshman in college has a tremor. Even with a smartpen, note taking is difficult. This could be a game changer for him and so many others. Happy to trial.

      • Andrea says:

        I also am interested in this watch for my father. I used to live in Seattle, my brother and his family still do. Like a lot of other people suffering from this horrific disease, I know he would also be interested in participating in a clinical trial if offered or purchase. Please hurry
        I want my dad to enjoy the time he has left with my mom to the best of their ability!!

      • Traci Britt says:

        Do you think this watch would help a person with ataxia from a TBI? My son suffers from ataxia in his right had and arm as a result of TBI from a car accident. Feedback please.

  3. Mary Elms says:

    Had Essential tremors my whole life. Would Emma help for this condition too? I am in desperate need of it so I can eat and send out Christmas cards. How can I get on the list to have one when they are available? Thank You.

  4. Silvia says:

    I read another article that said it would be ‘many years’ before it’s commercially available, it’s cruel if this is true, even without FDA approval, I’d buy one, better than having electrodes in your brain

  5. David Gremer says:

    If this is a medical device, there is a fairly lengthy process for getting it to market:
    * Establishment registration
    * Medical Device Listing
    * Premarket Notification 510(k), unless exempt, or Premarket Approval (PMA)
    * Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) for clinical studies
    * Quality System (QS) regulation
    * Labeling requirements
    * Medical Device Reporting (MDR)
    Does anyone know where in the process development is? If it’s in clinical trials, does anyone know who to contact?

  6. Ruud Overes says:

    Dear Microsoft / Tim Bossie,

    Can you please try to be more clear on your release planning of the Emma watch. It is important for an PD patient like me. If it takes years or you do not intend to release please say so

  7. Rachel says:

    It is very difficult to have possible solutions presented to
    Parkinson’s patients with a tremor in one or both hands
    And then not let them know when manufacturing will begin.
    On a solution such as the watch. It’s “a big tease” we need concrete information.

    • Alec Forman says:

      Like everyone else asking, When will it be available? Hopefully in my lifetime. On a solution such as the watch. It’s “a big tease” we need concrete information. Who ever has this project in their in tray please get it moving, it cant be that difficult and would improve the quality of life for thousands of people. Is money the problem? I am sure this could be raised in a kick starter project?
      Please someone grab the ball and run with it!!
      Parkinsons sufferer
      Alec Forman

  8. Oscar says:

    Microsoft can produce the product in another country with less governmen (FDA) intervention. We the PD sufferers need solutions.

  9. Bev Woodroof says:

    Dear Mr. Bossie,
    Thank you for taking time to respond to some.I have known two dear friends that have had to deal with this horrible disease. My friend I have known 65 yrs, since 1st day of kindergarten, had to try to help her mom struggle with this disease. It took so much from her. Now, I have a close friend that is trying hard to stay pro-active and upbeat. The tremors cause a lot of difficulty. Not just writing, eating, answering a phone, dressing, getting out of bed,etc. Please try to speed up the process and keep price afordable. They are so many out there your profits will not suffer by making it affordable. A high price will just mean you will not sell as many since their med are a priority.
    Thank you again,
    Bev Woodroof

  10. Carlos Elwood says:

    I would very much like more information when this Emma watch is available and the cost of it. I have suffered from Parkinson’s for 13 years, and I would really benefit from something like this. Do you need more participants for clinical trials? I would love to participate. Please hurry the production!

  11. Michelle Keester says:

    I have a 22 year old daughter that this would be amazing for. She just graduated from college in May with a tesching degree and is subbing in our local achool district. She really has a hard time writing because of her tremors. She is also visually imapired and has seizures. This could make one aspect of her life a little easier. How do you become a part of the trial? This is just amazing!!

  12. Leann says:

    I would love to give this to my Mom. This would be the perfect gift for her!!! Oh how I wish this was available for purchase.

    • Alec Forman says:

      Only like to say to Microsoft keep this project on a roll, I am ready as are I am sure thousands if not millions of other for this “Emma” watch to be available at a reasonable price,

  13. Barbara Brooks says:

    I am desperate to try and buy the Emma Watch. Parkinson’s disease has robbed me of my independence and zest for life. I have terrible side effects from the medications and this could be the answer to my prayers. Please count on me for clinical trials. I only want to be able to do normal everyday things again that used to be second nature.

  14. Joanne says:

    My Dad has essential tremors. We would love to get one for him if they are within reason. Please let us know when they will be available.

  15. Lynn Schwickrath says:

    Would like to purchase the watch, I’ have Essential Tremors, this would work great. Cost and where to but one or 2 of them.

  16. lorraine jewell says:

    My husband has Essential Tremor and would do anything to be rid of it. He’s incredibly frustrated as he is unable to do so many things because of it. He would love to trial it and buy it if it worked for him.

  17. Shira says:

    I have watched my father suffer with Parkinson’s. I think this watch will help with his tremors and his self confidence. A sense of control, to be able to write again and maybe just to eat by himself.
    Is there a way to be in a trial?
    Or any idea when it will be avail to purchase?

  18. Pat russell says:

    Please don’t forget all of us who are waiting to resume some normalcy in our lives that this watch would bring. We’re hoping it comes available to us soon and would be affordable to the average person. I speak for all of us with some desperation.

  19. Abbey Brown says:

    I am wanting to be a pediatric oncologist. With tremors it’s near impossible but that’s my dream… this would give me a chance! Just please, i would love to try this! Sign me up for the clinical trials please! Hi, I️ heard about the emma watch and I have essential tremor and myoclonus dystonia. I’ve tried all the medicines, propanol, Carbidopa levodopa, Clonazepam. Daily life things are a struggle and if this could make a difference i would love to try it for you all and document it if you are in the testing stages with videos or even purchase one. I would love just a chance at a change of quality of life. I go to a neurologist at UAB. I can get them to send proof of essential tremor and dystonia if needed. This is a game changer! Cannot think you enough for making this Microsoft! You are changing lives!

  20. Karen says:

    It’s quite a tease seeing the product and not being able to purchase it. I hope it becomes available soon. This would be a remarkable asset for my husband. He is quite interested in being part of a test trial for the product. It would definitely build his self-confidence.

  21. sharon a. says:

    How soon will this be available for purchase? If not available, how do I become a test subject or member of a clinical trial to evaluate the product? Unable to write and great difficulty writing. Please help/respond!

  22. Sandra Gurley says:

    Could this possibly help those that have nerve damage that causes their hands to shake. So hard for my husband to eat or work on anything due to the shaking. And his balance is so bad. He was in a motorcycle wreck in 2001. And many accidents in between then and now due to balance.

  23. Jodi Levine says:

    My Father too has Tremors, when will this watch be available? I am sure you are getting more and more requests for this and Micro Soft you do have the financial backing….DO THIS. You will be helping so many people. I am in the US and the Emma Video is going viral. Please make this happen to help so many people and Familys Thank you

    • I have had this tremor since I was a child and has got worst in my later years. I have had DBS surgery 3 times. The first surgery was 2009, 2013, and 2015 at Emory in Atlanta with minor results. I go to Emory every 3 months for programing my hand. This has now caused neuropathy in my hand because of the high voltage programing. When will the watch be available? I hope to see wonderful help for people in the future and thanks for everything!

  24. Lesley Fedida says:

    I too suffer from Parkinson’s tremors. Please listen to all of these people begging for help with their tremors. If it doesn’t fit into a profitable business model please share the information with the Michael J. Fox Foundation. They can make it happen.

  25. mark hoffman says:

    To Microsoft, and Bill Gates: Hundreds of thousANDS OF US WANT IT AND NEED IT.
    wHERE ARE YOU, mICROSOFT? mONEY SHOULD BE NO OBJECT. Medical authorisation (no dangers) should be no object. If so, sell your patents (if any) or give them away to an entreprenure, foreign or offshore company who will proceed. Better yet, Bill Gates’ Foundation to bring it online. Then Microsoft can be a hero!
    (Currently heading the other way fast!)

  26. Américo Santos says:

    When will this be available?
    I think that’s the question we all would like Microsoft to answer or at least inform where they are in the production process. When can we hope to be able to buy it? Thank you.

  27. Ian says:

    There seems to be complete silence from the developer on this. Why?
    1. Are we talking months, years or decades until we see some form of product?
    2. Are there patent disputes or other vested interests involved? Sort out or name and shame?
    3. Was this a late and sick April fool?!
    Ridiculous to build up people’s hopes like this.

  28. Quisetta46 says:

    I have PD and the tremors is the most debilitating problem I have. Ifear that this won’t happen within my lifetime! Come on Microsoft, Christmas is nearly here and it’s probably the only thing everyone on this post, including me, would want!

  29. Joanne says:

    My father in law has suffered from essential tremors for 4 decades. In the last 20years, he has not been able to write at all. He’s now 92. I hope he gets to wear the Emma watch one day and that will make him very very happy. Please hurry up with production.

  30. Amy Johnston says:

    My husband has PD.He has a tremor In his left hand.We have two children and he is the best husband and dad.He still works full time.He needs the Emma watch to be the best he can be!Can you please let us know as soon as it’s available.Are we talking weeks,years,or days away?Thank you so much

    • Ian Bolton says:

      ‘Unveiled’ in May 2017; last Microsoft reply on this stream in August 2017! Come on get a product released even with loads of legal qualifications on efficacy!! Lawyers and legal system get real!

    • mark hoffman says:

      Dear Bill (and Melissa) Gates: Where are you? YOUR Foundation? Microsoft? We Parkinsonians (the world) need(s) you.

      The “(Microsoft?) Emma Watch” will be very profitable (priceless!) and you can share the proceeds with the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation, for even More Miracles!

      Thank you!

      • ALAN VAUGHAN says:

        I agree with Mark Hoffman. Mr Gates please put some of your empathy into practice as there are also millions of people suffering with essential tremor who would benefit if this EMMA WATCH
        is GENUINE.

  31. mark hoffman says:

    Dear Bill, Melinda, and the Gates Foundation,

    Please Forgive me, Melinda. Absent-mindedly (Parkinson’s?) I referenced you by my niece “Melissa”‘s name. (February 12, 2018 comment).

    All well meant: all of us need the “Emma/Melinda” Watch!!

    Mark Hoffman

  32. Arvind says:

    I am desperate to buy Emma Watch since I am suffering from Ataxia SCA 12 and has the same symptoms like vibration in hand:
    1. Cant write and sign.
    2. Eating food is also a problem due to vibrations in hand.
    I hope this watch can help me lot in improving my daily life.

    I will be very happy, if can be used in such development which can help millions of sufferers for trials on me.

  33. mark hoffman says:

    C’mon, Microsoft! Where are you? ARE YOU GOING TO PRODUCE the watch?
    1)If not, sell your patents/if any, or GIVE them to US! (Parkinson’s people, eg M.Fox.F, Parkinson’s UK, et al.)
    2) If so, WHEN?! (Why don’t you sign us ALL up as volunteer trialists?
    I don’t know who Tim Bossie answers to, but either Bossie’s Boss or “Boss-Bill” should be FIRED! Melinda/Foundation to the rescue?

  34. SUDHIR BARGE says:

    I am a retired Army Officer and am 74 years young.I have treamors in my right hand. The tremors become more pronounced if I have to sign my name or write something in front of some one.At times the tremors are noticed when I lift a glass of water or a cup of tea.
    I saw Emma’s video on Facebook and would like to know if this gadget could help to reduce my tremors. I am sure it will.
    Col. Sudhir Barge. Pune, India. Mob. 9420159909.

  35. I just hope this bracelet is out there to purchase soon… My Father would so much benefit from this… It’s been a while since the main documentary and seems this bracelet is Still unavailable 🙁

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