Julian Brown has autism, one of the ways that manifests for him is that he has trouble reading people’s emotions but his Google Glasses have an app that helps him read basic emotional cues.“There is not a machine that can read your minds, but this helps with the emotions in recognizing them.”
The app was designed by researchers at California Stanford University of Medicine.“The Autism Glass Program has meant to teach children with autism how to understand what a face is telling them, period.And we believe that when that happens, they would become more socially engaged and as a consequence of that,gain confidence in social settings.”
The app simply reads facial expressions that autistic people often have a tough time recognizing:happy, sad, disgusted, surprised even mew.“We kind of had the idea of basically creating a behaviour or aid that would recognize the expressions of faces for you and then give you social cues according to those.”
Advocates for the autistic community say the app is just a small part of the support the growing autistic community needs as they age.“Anything that can help this population is very welcome and very very important.But technology, even the best technology is... will never be enough because we are dealing with the population with very, often very very profound needs.”
Julian’s mother says she has seen a change, “it has helped our son who is using the Google Glasses connect with the family more.He is talking more to us and he is, seems to be pausing more to just kind of gather information from us in conversation that I don’t remember him doing before the program.”
And Julian is also a fan of the app, “I really think it would help us autistic people.”The researchers are working to quantify more precisely if and how the app helps autistic children.But if they can show positive results, the app could be commercially available in the next few years.
Kevin Enochs, VOA News.