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Wearable Technology Google Glass Teaches Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Google Glass listens to conversations and prompts the user with an appropriate reply

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Google Glass
Google Glass. IANS

Toronto, Sep 16, 2017: An app to be used with wearable technology such as Google Glass — a head-mounted display in the shape of eyeglasses — can coach children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in everyday social interactions, new research has found.

A defining feature of ASD is difficulties with social communication — which can include initiating and maintaining conversations with others.

“We developed software for a wearable system that helps coach children with autism spectrum disorder in everyday social interactions,” said Azadeh Kushki, Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto in Canada.

“In this study, we show that children are able to use this new technology and they enjoy interacting with it,” Kushki added.

Children with autism spectrum disorder are often drawn to technological devices and find them highly motivating tools for delivering interventions designed to help them.

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The problem with existing technology, however, is that using human-to-computer interaction to teach social skills can have the opposite effect to its goal, in that the user becomes socially isolated.

“The interesting thing about our new technology is that we are not trying to replace human-to-human interactions; instead, we use this app to coach children who are communicating with people in real-world situations,” Kushki explained.

“Children can practice their skills outside of their normal therapy sessions and it can provide them with increased independence in everyday interactions,” Kushki added.

Kushki and her colleagues developed the app, named Holli, to be used with wearable technology such as Google Glass. It listens to conversations and prompts the user with an appropriate reply.

For example, if the user is greeted by a person who says ‘Welcome’, Holli will provide various responses to choose from, such as ‘Hey’, ‘Hello’ or ‘Afternoon’.

When Holli recognises the user’s response, the prompts disappear and Holli waits for the next exchange in conversation.

To assess the usability of the prototype software, the researchers asked a small group of children with ASD to be guided by Holli when interacting socially.

They saw that Holli could complete most conversations without error, and that children could follow the prompts to carry on a social interaction.

In fact, Holli was often able to understand what the user was saying before/he she finished saying it, which helped the conversation to flow naturally, the study said.

“This study shows the potential of technology-based intervention to help children with ASD,” Kushki said.

“These systems can be used in everyday settings, such as home and school, to reinforce techniques learned in therapeutic settings,” she added. (IANS)

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Google Glass can make you learn Morse Code in 4 Hours using a series of Vibrations

Morse code is a method of transmitting text information in which letters are represented by combinations of long and short light or sound signals

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Google Glass. Flickr

New York, October 29, 2016: Google Glass can make learning Morse code much easier as researchers have developed a system that teaches the code within four hours using a series of vibrations felt near the ear. Morse code is a method of transmitting text information in which letters are represented by combinations of long and short light or sound signals. Participants wearing Google Glass learned it without paying attention to the signals, they played games, while feeling the taps and hearing the corresponding letters.

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After those few hours, they were 94 per cent accurate keying a sentence that included every letter of the alphabet and 98 per cent accurate writing codes for every letter, the researchers said.

Morse code is a method of transmitting text information in which letters are represented by combinations of… Click To Tweet

“Does this new study mean that people will rush out to learn Morse code? Probably not,” said lead researcher Thad Starner, Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology.

“It shows that PHL (passive haptic learning) lowers the barrier to learn text-entry methods, something we need for smartwatches and any text-entry that doesn’t require you to look at your device or keyboard,” Starner said in a Georgia Tech statement. This is the latest chapter of passive haptic learning studies at Georgia Tech.

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The same method, using vibrations while participants aren’t paying attention, has taught people braille, how to play the piano and improved hand sensation for those with partial spinal cord injury. In the current study, the team decided to use Glass because it has both a built-in speaker and tapper (Glass’s bone-conduction transducer).

In the study, participants played a game while feeling vibration taps between their temple and ear. The taps represented the dots and dashes of Morse code and passively ‘taught’ users through their tactile senses, even while they were distracted by the game. The taps were created when researchers sent a very low-frequency signal to Glass’s speaker system. Because it was played very slowly, the sound was felt as a vibration.

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Half of the participants in the study felt the vibration taps and a voice prompt for each corresponding letter. The other half, the control group, felt no taps to help them learn. Participants were tested throughout the study on their knowledge of Morse code and their ability to type it. After less than four hours of feeling every letter, everyone was challenged to type the alphabet in Morse code in a final test. The control group was accurate only half the time. Those who felt the passive cues were nearly perfect. (IANS)

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Google Glass to help patients in remote areas

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Source: Google images

Source: Google images
Source: Google images

New York: Google Glass may be used to effectively extend bedside consults to distant healthcare facilities such as community and rural hospitals to diagnose and manage patients, researchers suggest.

“Glass is positioned perfectly as an emergency medicine telemedical device. It is small, hands free and portable, so you can bring it right to the bedside and have a real-time specialist with you when you need one,” said Peter R. Chai from University of Massachusetts medical school.

Traditional telemedicine devices usually consist of large desktop or laptop computers affixed to a big cart that has to be rolled from one exam room to another exam room.

This limits both access and functionality in a busy emergency room setting.

Through the glass, the physicians can stream video of an exam, take and enlarge photos and consult with remote specialists.

In the study, emergency medicine residents at UMass Memorial Medical Centre performed 18 toxicology consults with Google Glass.

Physicians wearing Google Glass evaluated the patients at bedside while a secure video feed was sent to the toxicology supervising consultant. The supervising consultant then guided the resident through text messages displayed on the Glass.

With Google Glass, consulting toxicologists were more confident in diagnosing specific toxidromes.

Additional data collected showed that the use of Google Glass also changed management of patient care in more than half of the cases seen.

Specifically, six of those patients received antidotes they otherwise would not have.

“Placing an expert at the virtual bedside of the patient has huge advantages. It brings a specialist to patients that might not otherwise have access to that kind of expertise,” Chai said.

Because Google Glass is relatively unobtrusive to patients, can be operated hands free and is extremely portable, it has a distinct advantage over traditional telemedicine platforms,” he added.

The study was published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology.

(IANS)

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Google’s new wearable device “might just be a new Google Glass”

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New York: Google has applied with the US Patent and Trademark Office for a new technology that will allow users wearing Google Glass-like device get information about objects within their line of vision, International Business Times reported.

Titled “Self-Describing 3D Object Recognition and Control Descriptors for Augmented Reality Interfaces,” the technology will “provide for the detection and recognition of target devices by a mobile computing device”, the patent description said.

According to the patent, the technology can only work for objects “within a pre-defined local environment”.

It means that it will work in locations where Google Glass already has the information for every object that is there

According to media reports, Google may also be testing the next version of the Google Glass called GG1.

Google has a new eye wearable device in the works under the latest US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing, which “might just be a new Google Glass”, Droid Life reported.

The FCC tests electronic products to ensure that they are safe for human contact.

Google withdrew the eye-wearable device from the market in January this year but reports said that the US tech giant was planning to come up with a different version of the wearable headset.

(IANS)