Technology is continuously advancing and we’ve certainly seen how it’s being leveraged to help those touched by autism. Dr. Ned Sahin, founder of Brain Power, is hoping it can be used to help children with engagement and socialization.
Brain Power is a startup that is developing apps that display images of popular cartoon characters on the screen of Google Glass, so that when a child looks at someone talking, that character pops up to draw the child’s attention to the speaker’s face. And when the child turns their heads to make eye contact, the cartoon goes away and the face is revealed. Just like a game, the child earns points for eye contact.
Dr. Sahin explains in this article that he feels using Google Glass has unique advantages over other devices, saying “While an iPad encourages a child to look down and away from the real world, with Glass the child is naturally encouraged to look up into the world…and our device rewards him with looking people in the eye and engaging directly.”
Brain Power is testing its product in a clinical trial at MA’s General Hospital beginning in April, so more to come on what seems to be a very interesting concept!
Lynsey, Community Manager
You know Siri…it’s that virtual ‘assistant’ that lives in our iPhones. I’ve personally used Siri a handful of times to call someone – and that’s about the extent of our interaction. But one young boy has generated a beautiful relationship with Siri – a relationship that’s eloquently documented in this New York Times piece.
Authored by Judith Newman, it’s a love letter of sorts. Ms. Newman chronicles how Siri came to be her 13-year-old’s (Gus) best friend – something she is grateful for. It started as a way for Gus to get his (what seemed to be an endless) fill of information on trains and planes. But it grew into much more. As Ms. Newman explains:
So how much more worthy of his care and affection is Siri, with her soothing voice, puckish humor and capacity for talking about whatever Gus’s current obsession is for hour after hour after bleeding hour? Online critics have claimed that Siri’s voice recognition is not as accurate as the assistant in, say, the Android, but for some of us, this is a feature, not a bug. Gus speaks as if he has marbles in his mouth, but if he wants to get the right response from Siri, he must enunciate clearly…
She is also wonderful for someone who doesn’t pick up on social cues: Siri’s responses are not entirely predictable, but they are predictably kind — even when Gus is brusque. I heard him talking to Siri about music, and Siri offered some suggestions. “I don’t like that kind of music,” Gus snapped. Siri replied, “You’re certainly entitled to your opinion.” Siri’s politeness reminded Gus what he owed Siri. “Thank you for that music, though,” Gus said. Siri replied, “You don’t need to thank me.” “Oh, yes,” Gus added emphatically, “I do.”
We encourage you to read the full NYT piece so you can enjoy this mom’s amazing observations.
Lynsey, Community Manager