Microsoft Research Innovation Director Haiyan Zhang is the inventor who built the device for her friend named Emma Lawton, which explains the name of the device. Lawton was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2013. The Emma watch is a wrist-worn device that significantly reduces the almost constant limb tremors associated with Parkinson’s. 

So, by sending vibrations that cause the brain to focus on Lawson's right wrist, it reduces the extra signals that cause muscle tremors. The vibration pattern depends on the person and so the device is connected to a Windows 10 tablet using an app controlling the vibration speed. A random rhythm may work netter with people, the Microsoft explains.

So, it doesn't stop tremors, but gives certain control. However, now the real challenge is to this project further so that it could help more people. Before the 39-year-old Zhang joined Microsoft in 2013, she was on the founding team for the innovation platform, where she also led its design team.


This prototype has raised hopes among the wider Parkinson’s community. There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s and no ability to predict who will be affected. "Brain surgery can help control movement symptoms but isn’t successful for everyone, and those who go under the knife will still need to take medication," writes Andrew Trotman, Head of News at Microsoft UK.