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Updated Feb 3, 2014 - 7:54 am

Autism sufferers may be helped by wearing Google Glass

PHOENIX — Google is conducting research to find out if people on the autism spectrum can be helped by wearing Google Glass.

Thirty-year-old Paul Louden is a Google Glass explorer. He suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, and he is exploring ways that the glasses may help people who suffer from diseases within the autism spectrum.

Louden paid $1,500 for his pair of Google Glass six months ago.

“They’re a wearable computer,” Louden said. “You wear them on your head, and the screen sits sort of above and to the right, kind of luck the rearview mirror in your car. It’s there and can give you information, but it doesn’t really get in the way of seeing the road, seeing what’s around you.”

Sometimes he and others with Asperger syndrome have trouble remembering things. The glasses can be programmed to help him remember to do things like daily chores.

“With the Google Glass, setting reminders is as easy as saying ‘OK Glass, remind me that when I get home, to do the dishes’,” said Louden. “Suddenly, now, there’s a reminder out there on the internet, so that when you get home, your Google Glass will make a little noise and tell you that your dishes need doing.”

Louden added that victims of autism have problems dealing with situations that don’t go exactly as planned, such as a mix-up with a hotel or car rental reservation. He can use the Hangout video chat feature to call for help. Using a small camera on the glasses, they can see what he’s seeing, and help him out.

Louden also said that Google is hoping to expand the program this year, and is trying trying to find ways to lower the price of the Glass to around $600. He thinks that is still too expensive, and that a price of around $400 would be more appropriate.

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