Scientists at Stanford University, USA are seeking volunteers aged 6-16 with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to trial a device using wearable glasses that aims to help them recognise facial expressions and respond appropriately
According to an article in Wired, the Autism Glass Project developed from the work of Catalin Voss and others at Sension on an app built for Google Glass. This proved so successful it was sold to a Japanese company called GAIA System Solutions and is now being introduced into cars to alert drivers who eyes drift off the road or who appear drowsy.
Voss is now a member of the transdisciplinary team at Stanford behind the new device. Described as ‘a wearable behavioural aid’ it uses the outward facing camera on the glasses to read facial expressions and provides social cues within the child’s natural environment. It also records the amount and type of eye contact, which adds an additional layer for behavioural intervention.
The new device has already been successfully tested on 40 individuals in a laboratory setting. The 100-person at-home study will consist of 80 children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and 20 children who are typically developing. It will take place over a four-month period during which participants will use the device at home, with scheduled, periodic in-lab visits.
In the long-term the team hopes the device will provide an alternative to ‘intensive behavioural interventions that are often expensive, difficult to access and inconsistently administered.’ Volunteers can sign up on the Project site.