The Autism Glass Project at Stanford University developed a wearable behavioral aid that aims to improve verbal and non-verbal communication. The software uses Google Glasses to identify facial expressions, give social cues related to facial expressions, and record eye contact. According to the Associated Press, the Autism Glass Project team hopes autism glass can become a form an at-home therapy for children with autism.

The Google Glass smart-glasses have a front facing camera that records data and a small display for the user. The Autism Glass Project application uses sensors on the Google Glass frames to record facial expressions and eye movements during conversations. The application has a machine learning-based computing system that processes information from the sensors and uses it to verbally notify the user of the type of expression recognized. The application provides social cues on eight emotions, including anger, disgust, fear, happiness, and others.  According to the  South  China Morning Post, the application provides social cues to the user through emoji’s linked to emotions as well.

Catalin Voss, founder of the Autism Glass Project, is a graduate student at the Stanford School of Medicine. NBCNews reports that some of Voss’ inspiration for the program came from his cousin who has autism. Voss told the South China Morning Post, “our theory was: if we can teach and give them confidence to [read these emotions], it would unlock their ability to learn more complex emotions”.  Take a look at the Associated Press’ video on the Autism Glass Project.

Robert Ring, Chief Science Officer at Autism Speaks, told NBCNews, “Glass and wearable technology are the future. They’re going to play a pivotal role in how we understand, manage and diagnose disorders like autism”.

According to the South China Morning Post, the Autism Glass Project team is working on a licensing deal to get the application on the market. Voss hopes the aid will help families in countries with few therapists and resources to help children with autism.

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