The Google glass as we all know has joined the ranks of gadgets which failed to build a reputation among the consumers because of their previous promise. But after they have been written off, their pair of glasses might have finally found its ideal use case. Yeah, you got it right, Google Glass is now being used in helping kids with autism in social situations. Google Glass might be back, but this time for a whole different purpose.
“Google Glass is an unobtrusive, lightweight, augmented reality wearable device that is the best use with individuals who have often have sensory sensitivities,” an associate professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Biomedical Data Sciences at Stanford Medical School, Dennis Wall told Digital Trends. “its adjustable and also fit on children as young as three years of age. Many other smart glasses available today are bulky or heavy, and therefore are not practical for use with children.”
What is more ironic is that much of the negative media views around the Google Glass revolved around the fact that the camera can be used for more nefarious purposes, such as facial recognition. That is what the researchers at Stanford have used. But, instead of attempting to identify people, the focus of the glass is on notifying the wearers of the expression displayed by the people they are interacting with. This is an area where people with autism face a lot of challenge.
Nicknamed the Superpower Glass, the software is not meant to be used for any social situations but instead as a training tool. It also has a dedicated app that will allow users to match up emojis to acted out emotions on the part of the parents.
“We have so far completed two preliminary studies with over 60 children,” Wall continues. “so far we have been able to demonstrate that the Superpower Glass is comfortable and appropriate for children as young as three years of age and also across the entire autism spectrum. In a longitudinal trial where 14 families used the device for several weeks at home, all the children experienced a decrease in autism severity, and most of the parents reported an increase in their kid’s eye contact after the study.
Although the study did not include any control group for comparison, we have also completed a randomised controlled trial on over 70 more children to further carry out the test on the therapeutic impact of the system.”