Product: Pen: Hi-tech
Pen for the Disabled   (+5, -1)  [vote for, against]
For elderly people, who have jittery hands

This pen would be for elderly people who have weak hands and/or jittery hands. It would have a comfortable grip (see link for Sensa pen) and would have a point that was about 1 millimeter from the sides of the barrel of the pen. The point would be suspended inside the barrel with elastic/viscous material and would filter out small jitters of the hand.
-- -----, Dec 08 2004

Sensa Pen
Sensa Pen [-----, Dec 08 2004]

Shrinky Dinks
The pen is fine, it's the paper you need to change. [contracts, Dec 08 2004]

Parkinson's Disease http://www.embarras...ges2/shakyhands.htm
it's in my genes... [po, Dec 08 2004]

Saebo, Inc. "Steady Hand" writing instrument
Existing help for the same problem, but very different principles. Magnetic base of pen holder works with metal board. Sounds like it's still quite a chore to write with. [jutta, Dec 09 2004]

Sorry about the link, I forgot to put it in after I wrote the idea. Just added it.
-- -----, Dec 08 2004

There are some hungover mornings I could use this....
-- normzone, Dec 08 2004

Great idea! My only reservation is that the center wold have to contact the edge of the barrel to be moved sideways and this might counteract the 'buffering' action.
-- oneoffdave, Dec 08 2004

I don't mean to be the PC police, but I don't think being eldery = being disabled. My hands shake more than I would like them to, and I'm 25. I like the idea and would probably buy one to see if it improves my handwriting. [+]
-- contracts, Dec 08 2004

Even if your stabilization mechanism worked, wouldn't it interfere with the writing itself? Doesn't writing pretty much mean making jitters in a pattern?
-- jutta, Dec 08 2004

I think that the idea could be better if it promoted viscous dampening rather than spring suspension, even though some combination of the two is probably need ed. In any case, as jutta points out, I too wonder if anything other than the smallest vibrations can be damped without interfering with the act if writing itself.

If you adopted the Canon stabilization method--the optical stabilization on Canon optics is electrically driven mechanics--you'd have to have batteries for the pen. Zeiss optics, (or is it Leitz?) though, especially their binoculars, use a superb passive mechanical mechanism that requires no power source.
-- bristolz, Dec 08 2004

would a wrist rest help?

I gotta give a + for identifying a problem but I don't see how this solution would work.
-- po, Dec 08 2004

I altered it a bit and got rid of the Canon thing and added a viscous thing.
-- -----, Dec 08 2004

I'll wager the application here would be image stabilization tech and writing to screen.
-- normzone, Dec 08 2004

Come to think of it, I surmise that it isn't just muscular coordination itself that is the problem, but a combination of visual problems and lack of fine-motor skills.

A better solution would be to get really large Sir-Marks-Alot permanent markers and several sheets of [linky], writing HUGE letters. It says on the product page itself that "mistakes shrink right along with each and every piece created."
-- contracts, Dec 08 2004

Try taking a bic biro and removing the black bit (if it's a black one) that holds the nib. Replcae that with, say, blu-tak and see how easy it is to write then.

As [po] says, [+] for identifying a problem, but I'm gonna cancel it with a [-] for a solution that, while noble, won't work.

Like the idea of 'jitters in a pattern' . New line on the CV - "adept at producing patterned jitters"
-- moomintroll, Dec 08 2004

//Come to think of it, I surmise that it isn't just muscular coordination itself that is the problem, but a combination of visual problems and fine-motor skills// no, its wobbly hands... Parkinson's syndrome etc.
-- po, Dec 08 2004

The idea is that small vibrations are filtered out, while large,(relatively) slow movements are allowed.
-- -----, Dec 09 2004

The "shrinkydink" method is likely to run into problems - one of the symptoms of Parkinson's is "micrographia", or smaller and smaller writing.
-- jutta, Dec 09 2004

Perhaps there's a Parkinson's progression damping adjustment control?
-- bristolz, Dec 09 2004

I was thinking along those same lines, except I was wondering if the tremors are fairly regular in frequency and the latency of compensation may be be sped up by being able to anticpate the tremors to some degree by sampling the pre-writing tremors. Dunno how consistent in amplitude/direction the tremors are.
-- half, Dec 09 2004

I wonder if it would be possible to create software for a pen-enabled computer, perhaps a Tablet PC, that would interpret the writing and filter out the condition-induced jitters.
-- waugsqueke, Dec 09 2004

An interesting question. Perhaps someone here has enough experience with digital ink and the like to answer that.
-- half, Dec 09 2004

I'd put X,Y photo-positioners on the pen nib. Any negative feedback voltage outside the range of normal sentence writing moves the paper on X,Y coordinates underneath the pen with alphabet identification assist.
-- mensmaximus, Dec 09 2004

Yes, I'm seeing the other applications such as teach your child how to write in a particular style.

If you rely on hand written orders in your job it translates your bosses handwriting from memory into perfect writing.

Nothing comes out onto the paper till a letter is recognized.
-- mensmaximus, Dec 09 2004

Looking at the link for the "Steady Hand" device, it looks like it would transfer a lot of the effort of writing from the wrist to further up the arm. The coarse movements that this would create would help to 'over-rule' fine tremor. It does look like increased effort wuold be required which maay induce fatigue and offset any benefit.
-- oneoffdave, Dec 09 2004

That's what you get for having a crummy free pda. This anno was handwritten on mine, a Dell Axim. A cheap one, too.
-- bristolz, Dec 09 2004

random, halfbakery