Google Glass Used to Enhance Lives of People with Varying Disabilities

Google Glass is being used in a variety of ways to help those who are disabled, including recognition software for the autistic, virtual trips for the immobile, and giving back the ability to hear for those with damaged ears.
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Google Glass is being used in a variety of ways to help those who are disabled, including recognition software for the autistic, virtual trips for the immobile, and giving back the ability to hear for those with damaged ears.
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Photo Credit: Google

Google Glass has the potential to be much more than the latest big technological device. It has the ability to make the lives of people with different disabilities a little bit better.

Dr. Dennis Wall is currently researching how Google Glasses can help autistic people to better understand the world. The glasses would be able to provide information such as behavior and face recognition, which are often difficult for people with autism. 

“A lot of today’s social-skills training is done in an artificial setting,” Derek Ott, a psychiatry professor at UCLA, told Wired. “If you can do it in the moment, in the real world, it could be very beneficial."

Google Glasses have also been used to send immobile veterans on virtual trips. Mike DiGiovanni, an Android developer, created Tilt Control for the glasses, so users don't have to rely on their hands.

For David Trahan, a senior strategist at digital marketing and technology agency MRY, Google Glass returned his full ability to hear. He is deaf in his right ear, and was invited to be a Google Glass Explorer. The glasses use bone conduction technology for sound transmission, which means that the sound waves go right past the damaged portion of a person's ear, straight through the bone.

“The first thing I did was Google something,” Trahan told Fast Company. “I used the voice command and said, ‘OK Glass, Google…’ and then had to immediately think of something to look up. I have this weird love for banana-flavored things, so ‘banana’ was the first thing that came to mind. ‘OK Glass, Google banana.’ For the whole night, I just Googled stuff and called people and just listened to the sounds.

Trahan added that he begins to feel a bit lonely when he takes his Google Glass off.