Autism advocates are excited that researchers are developing technologies to help the estimated one in 68 American children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder."There's not a machine that can read your mind, but this helps with the emotions, you know, recognizing them," Julian said.Julian Brown smiles while wearing Google Glass glasses at The Wall Lab in Stanford, California. The Silicon Valley tech giant stopped producing the headset beads embroidery machines Manufacturers last year after it failed to gain traction, but the device found new life among medical researchers.".When the device's camera detects an emotion such as happiness or sadness, Julian sees the word "happy" or "sad" - or a corresponding "emoji" - flash on the glass display.-based startup, is also developing Google Glass-based applications to help children with autism improve their face-reading abilities and social skills. The device also tests his ability to read facial expressions.Now the 10-year-old San Jose boy is getting help from "autism glass" - an experimental device that records and analyzes faces in real time and alerts him to the emotions they're expressing.
"The autism glass program is meant to teach children with autism how to understand what a face is telling them. Stanford student Catalin Voss and researcher Nick Haber developed the technology to track faces and detect emotions in a wide range of people and settings."Anything that can help this population is very welcome and very important, but even the best technology will never be enough because we are dealing with a population with often very, very profound needs," said Jill Escher, president of Autism Society San Francisco Bay Area.Currently, many autistic children learn to read facial expressions by working with therapists who use flashcards with faces expressing different emotions. And we believe that when that happens they will become more socially engaged," said Dennis Wall, who directs the Stanford School of Medicine's Wall Lab, which is running the study."Kids with autism are not getting enough of the care that they need for as long as they need it, and we need to fix the problem," Wall said.The study is still in its early stages, but Wall said participating children have shown gains in their face-reading abilities and family feedback has been encouraging. Like many autistic children, Brown, 10, has trouble reading emotions in people's faces, one of the biggest challenges for people with the neurological disorder."Glass and wearable technology are the future. The facial recognition software was developed at Stanford University and runs on Google Glass, a computerized headset with a front-facing camera and a tiny display just above the right eye.
Google provided about 35 Google Glass devices to Stanford, but otherwise hasn't been involved in the project.If the study shows positive results, the technology could become commercially available within a couple years, Wall said. They're going to play a pivotal role in how we understand, manage and diagnose disorders like autism," said Robert Ring, chief science officer at Autism Speaks. Julian is one of about 100 autistic children participating in a Stanford study to see if "autism glass" therapy can improve their ability to interpret facial expressions. Like many autistic children, Julian Brown has trouble reading emotions in people's faces, one of the biggest challenges for people with the neurological disorder. The program runs on a smartphone, which records the sessions.Brain Power, a Cambridge, Mass. "It has helped our son who's using the Google Glasses connect with the family more," said Kristen Brown, Julian's mother."We had the idea of basically creating a behavioral aide that would recognize the expressions and faces for you and then give you social cues according to those," said Voss, who was partly inspired by a cousin who has autism. The Stanford team hopes autism glass can provide a convenient, affordable therapy that families can do at home. "I think the glasses are a positive way to encourage a kid to look someone else in the face.Julian wears the device each day for three 20-minute sessions when he interacts with family members face-to-face - talking, playing games, eating meals." Julian also gives the device positive reviews: "I really think it would help autistic people a lot.
Rather, it's where engineers will be working on some of the high-tech gadgetry needed for the company's long-term plans to connect people through smart devices, virtual-reality headsets and high-flying drones that deliver internet signals via laser to remote parts of the world. But deep inside its Silicon Valley headquarters, engineers have stocked a new lab with computerized lathes, industrial mills and tools for making physical goods. Similarly, Facebook says it developed the 360-degree video camera to show other inventors what's possible in new camera designs. The company sold more than $6 billion worth of ads in the April-June quarter, reaping more than $2 billion in profit.The lab has long workbenches for electrical engineers to spread out their gear and a room full of the lathes and milling machines, each the size of a small truck.Instead, Facebook has led an industry effort to develop more energy-efficient computer centers by sharing server designs with other companies."When you think about connecting the world, you have to build different types of hardware to help people connect," said Jay Parikh, Facebook's head of engineering and infrastructure. Facebook says its engineers had long talked about wanting such a workspace, but it couldn't be found because it didn't exist until now.The company won't say how much it spent on the lab, but it took months to build the facility, which is about a third the size of a football field, inside a refitted office building on its main campus.The Oculus operation has its own lab in Seattle, while Facebook's drone team is based in Somerset, England.