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Google Helps Autistic Kids Read Facial Expressions

As autistic children interact with others, the app identifies and names their emotions through the Google Glass speaker or screen.

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In this technology, the child or adult wears light, computerised Glasses and sees and hears special feedback geared to the situation. Flickr
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Children with autism were able to improve their social skills by using a smartphone app paired with Google Glass — an eye-wearable device — to help them understand the emotions conveyed in people’s facial expressions, according to a pilot study.

Autism is a serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact.

However, the therapy, named “Superpower Glass” developed by the researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, uses an app that provides real-time cues about people’s facial expressions to a child wearing Google Glass.

The Superpower Glass is based on applied behaviour analysis in which a clinician teaches emotion recognition using structured exercises such as flash cards depicting faces with different emotions.

Google Glass
Autistic kids can now better identify expressions. IANS

The device, which was linked with a smartphone through a local wireless network, consists of a glasses-like frame equipped with a camera to record the wearer’s field of view, as well as a small screen and a speaker to give the wearer visual and audio information.

As autistic children interact with others, the app identifies and names their emotions through the Google Glass speaker or screen.

After one to three months of regular use, parents reported that children with autism made more eye contact and related better to others.

For the study, published online in npj Digital Medicine, 14 families tested the Superpower Glass setup at home for an average of 10 weeks with three 20 minute sessions per week.

Google Glass. (Wikimedia Commons)

Also Read: Study: iPhone App Effective for Screening Toddlers With Autism

A few weeks into the trial, children began to realise that people’s faces hold clues to their feelings.

In addition, six of the 14 participants had large enough declines in their scores to move down one step in the severity of their autism classification.

This treatment could help fill a major gap in autism care due to a shortage of trained therapists, as children may have to wait as long as 18 months after an autism diagnosis to begin receiving treatment, the researchers noted. (IANS)

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Tech Giant Google To Charge $40 Per Device From Android Makers

While Android will remain free and open source, Google will offer separate licenses to the Google Search app and to Chrome

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Google to charge $40 per device to Android makers. Wikimedia Commons

Android manufacturers will have to pay $40 per device to Google in Europe to be featured into Google Play Store and other mobile apps.

According to a report in The Verge on Friday, a confidential fee schedule shows costs as high as $40 per device to install the “Google Mobile Services” suite of apps.

“The new fees vary depending on country and device type, and it would apply to devices activated on or after February 1st, 2019,” the report said.

“Google is also offering separate agreements to cover some or all of the licensing costs for companies that choose to install Chrome and Google search on their devices as well, according to a person familiar with the terms,” it added.

The tech giant however, has declined to comment.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

Earlier this week, Google said it was updating the compatibility agreements with mobile device makers and may ask them to pay a fee for Google Play and other its other Android apps used in Europe.

The move was to comply with the decision of the European Union’s anti-trust watchdog’s decision against Android.

The European Commission ruled that forcing device manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Chrome was against its competition rules and fined the tech giant a whopping $5.1 billion in July (Google has appealed against the ruling).

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With the new changes to Android that will come into effect on October 29, smartphone makers in Europe will need to pay for certain Google apps.

While Android will remain free and open source, Google will offer separate licenses to the Google Search app and to Chrome. (IANS)