In a report published in the npj Digital Medicine (via Engadget), researchers are using Google Glass to help kids with autism to navigate social situations. One of the issues caused by autism is poor social skills. However with the therapy developed by the researchers, it uses Google Glass and facial recognition software to let the wearer know what kind of emotions people are expressing.
According to the researchers, “Children with ASD have demonstrated deficits in facial processing abilities, such as distinguishing fear from surprise and identifying subtler emotions. Children also struggle with facial engagement and eye contact.Teaching these skills to children with autism is important for social development and is closely linked with empathy.”
This means that kids with autism will be able to recognize when people are happy, angry, sad, displeased, and so on, and will be better equipped to handle such situations. In the pilot trial, 14 children were chosen to test out the system at home. The trial, while small, showed promise as 12 out of the 14 children made more eye contact upon the trial’s conclusion.