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The Google Glass was supposed to change our lives.
When it was first announced, people were optimistic but unfortunately it didn’t quite work out for many different reasons.
Still, it could make an impact on some people’s lives as a report from npj Digital Medicine has detailed ways which the device can help autistic children in social situations.
Autism is a developmental disorder that hinders a person’s ability to communicate with others, which is where the Google Glass comes in handy.
Researchers have developed a therapy routine that uses the Google Glass with facial recognition software to notify the device wearer on which emotions people are expressing.
Using the device with the software installed, autistic children would be able to tell what the person they are talking to could be feeling at that moment, giving them a chance to reassess even the simplest of conversations.
The software is designed to recognise eight core expressions: happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, surprise, fear, contempt and calm.
When it identifies a particular expression, it sends the information to the Google Glass wearer by either naming the emotion through the headset speaker or by displaying an emoticon on a small screen in the corner of the right spectacle frame.
Usually, children with autism have to see a therapist to improve their social skills, but with the Google Glass, it can hopefully help to negate therapy, which could be costly and time-consuming.
In a trial, 14 children with autism spectrum disorder used this program at home for an average of just over 10 weeks.
The program made a positive impact as well, with these children showing improved social skills, increased eye contact and an ability to decode facial expressions.
Alex, a 9-year-old, who took part in the program is one of these children who have shown improvements. His mother, Donji Cullenbine, has already seen a change in his behaviour as he was meeting her eyes more often.
As he told his mother excitedly one time: “Mommy, I can read minds!”