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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

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 Letting Android Users Create Events on Maps

Google's plans for a wider roll-out of the feature remain unknown

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The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

Google is letting Android users create public events on Maps through the app’s existing Contribute section, allowing them to set name, location, date and time of the event along with tags and images.

“You can add public events to Google Maps from your Android phone or tablet,” the search-engine giant wrote on the Maps support page.

Event listings would help users streamline time-specific activities and choose what suits them best.

Google, Main One, russia
A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company’s offices in Toronto. VOA

“It’s all part of the app’s transformation from a service that tells you how to get somewhere into one that tells you where you might want to go in the first place,” The Verge reported on Monday.

Google’s plans for a wider roll-out of the feature remain unknown.

Also Read- Microsoft Asks Social Media Platforms to Act Fast on Terror

“Google Maps’ implementation is a little laggy at the moment, with events taking up to an hour to actually appear on a map. Hopefully, this improves as the functionality is more widely rolled out,” the report said. (IANS)