This summer, Georgia Tech launched its Wearable Computing Center to explore applications ranging from manufacturing to architecture. The goal of the Center is to encourage researchers from around the world and from different disciplines to collaborate on finding new ways to solve significant problems. Health and wellness is a big part of the projects that they are pursuing.

One project of particular interest explores ways to use Google Glass to help those with hearing impairments. It is possible to have a computing device — such as a smartphone — perform speech to text conversion in real time, but the user has to look at the display and not the person who is speaking. As a result, much of the contextual information from facial expressions and body language is lost. The solution is a smartphone app that sends the transcript of the speaker’s comments directly to the Google Glass display. The hard-of-hearing user can then read the text while looking at the speaker, creating a more natural conversational setting.

Solutions based on off-the-shelf consumer electronic products like this will help to bring all sorts of adaptive technology to help individuals with a variety of impairments and challenges.