According to the CDC, between 1% to 2% of humans have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) worldwide. Occurring across demographic groups, boys with ASD outnumber girls four to one. The disorder is called a “spectrum” because of the varied symptoms and traits associated with ASD, with mild to severely disabling results. Difficulty understanding or ‘reading’ others’ emotions, however, is a trait shared by many on the autism spectrum. We’ve written about new tech designed to help diagnose autism, a wearable developed to lessen anxiety in people with autism spectrum, and a device that mimics fever to relieve extreme autistic behavior.
Brain Power’s Empower Me system for people on the autism spectrum uses augmented reality on the Enterprise Edition version of Google Glass. With Empower Me, users are presented with visual content that helps them remain engaged with other people and with their surroundings. Gamification is a core feature of Empower Me. Users get points and rewards for learning social-emotional and cognitive skills. The system software modules connect to Brain Power’s hosted cloud portal. Artificial intelligence algorithms generate user-specific insight and predictions based on the individual’s behavioral metrics. Brain Power operates with a user-centered design process; the company includes people with autism spectrum in designing, testing, and brainstorming additional content and features for Empower Me. The system focus on helping users with social interactions, language, behavior self-control, and job skills. According to Brain Power, people with ASD love gamified motivational systems. Users’ game performance and improvement can help measure progress and provide data for future plans.
Brain Power continues to build their Empower Me, aided by people on the autism spectrum. As the system grows, the massive amount of accumulated data will be directed toward helping more people and improving both the understanding of ASD and tools that can help.