How Google Glass-based solutions can help autistic children

How Google Glass-based solutions can help autistic children
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
23 Jul, 2018

Google Glass, the tech giant’s smart glasses which failed as a consumer product before being reintroduced as an enterprise offering last year, could change the lives of millions of people afflicted with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Google Glass is a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display which can display information in a smartphone-like hands-free format, and can communicate with the internet via voice commands.  

According to a report in Indo-Asian News Service, a US-based science-driven company claims that Augmented Reality (AR)-powered wearable computers can help those with ASD gain confidence, clarity, understanding, social integration and self-sufficiency.

ASD is a developmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate.

Dr Ned Sahin, founder and chief executive of Brain Power, told IANS that while there is no cure for autism, early diagnosis and intervention with therapies improves the long-term outcome of the disorder. 

As part of a Brain Power programme called Empower Me, Google Glass is currently being used by many children and adults suffering from ASD in the US. 

How it works

When a person wears the computerised Glasses, he/she sees and hears special feedback geared to the situation like digital coaching on facial expressions of emotions, when to look at people, feedback on the user's own state of stress or anxiety.

Dr Sahin pointed out that the apps encourage a user to make eye contact and control repetitive behaviours, both of which are big challenges related to autism.

According to the report, each software module connects to Brain Power's cloud-hosted portal where AI-based algorithms produce insights and predictions in real time.

The game-like apps collect numerical behavioural data and present the child, family, school or clinic with insights and answers they can readily understand.

"We have discovered scientifically that people with autism enjoy using wearable devices and embedded software for socio-emotional learning," Dr Sahin told IANS.

He added that Brain Power was open to customising Google Glass-based applications for autistic people in India.