One of the more interesting aspects of wearables, is that they cover a wide variety of different technologies. There’s advanced sensors, displays, analytics, back end software and any number of different types of products that they all go into. However, fitness bands are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how people’s lives can be improved by these advanced, amalgamations of technology. Amputees and those looking to ‘wear’ wholly man made limbs, could benefit the most. That’s where products like BeBionic’s hands come in.
The BeBionic Hand is a versatile prosthetic, that combines some of the world’s most advanced technology to create a replacement limb that’s straight out of science fiction. Currently in its third iteration, the BeBionic Hand three is an incredibly advanced piece of kit.
The hand works by tracking the musculature movements in your forearm and translating them to movements in the hand itself, offering up to 14 different grip patterns, meaning you can do everything from light, gentle pick ups – letting you handle cracking an ege for cooking, for example – to firm handshakes and ultimately, picking up large objects weighing up to 45 kilograms. This last function also allows you too push yourself up from a seated position, or manoeuvre yourself during exercise.
Touching small controls on the palm, or adjusting the thumb position manually, can allow for the wearer to perform other functions, like hold and operate a computer mouse, or point at something with an extended index finger. It’s even possible to change the hand shape to reach through something, like a tube or coat sleeve.
The overall construction is light and sturdy and can react automatically in some situations, curling fingers if bumped into to protect itself and the grip will automatically tighten if an item is about to slip from your grasp.
There’s even a silicon skin option that gives you a natural looking hand.
At this moment in time, you either need to go through the NHS to get ahold of a BeBionic hand, or go through the creators, RSL Steeper via their official site.
While understandably not quite the super versatile prosthetics we’ve seen in movies that allow for 100 per cent natural movement, the Be Bionic hand is very impressive. It’s hard to find anything particularly wrong with it, considering the alternatives are much more passive. I would however be interested to know what its battery usage is like and how often it requires removal for charging. Perhaps some sort of wireless charge option could be considered for future versions.
The Be Bionic Hand seems like an impressively versatile and featureful solution to a terrible problem faced by some people. Giving them back normal motion and abilities is something that medical practitioners have dreamed of for decades and we’re edging ever closer to a 100 per cent lifelike replacement. This is a great step in that direction.