Google Glass May Have an Afterlife As a Device To Teach Autistic Children

While Google stopped selling its augmented-reality glasses to customers due to privacy concerns, Google Glass lived on as something to be used by researchers and businesses. The New York Times reports of a new effort from Stanford researchers to use Google Glass to help autistic children understand emotions and engage in more direct ways with those around them. The glasses could also be used to measure changes in behavior, something that has historically been difficult to do. An anonymous Slashdot reader shares an excerpt from the report: When Esaie Prickett sat down in the living room with his mother, father and four older brothers, he was the only one wearing Google Glass. As Esaie, who was 10 at the time and is 12 now, gazed through the computerized glasses, his family made faces — happy, sad, surprised, angry, bored — and he tried to identify each emotion. In an instant, the glasses told him whether he was right or wrong, flashing tiny digital icons that only he could see.

Esaie was 6 when he and his family learned he had autism. The technology he was using while sitting in the living room was meant to help him learn how to recognize emotions and make eye contact with those around him. The glasses would verify his choices only if he looked directly at a face. He and his family tested the technology for several weeks as part of a clinical trial run by researchers at Stanford University in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. Recently detailed in The Journal of the American Medical Association, Pediatrics, the trial fits into a growing effort to build new technologies for children on the autism spectrum, including interactive robots and computerized eyewear.

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