18-Year-Old Uses Google Glass to Combat Autism, Rest of World Feels Inadequate

Am I the only one whose sick of these brilliant, good-hearted kids making us twenty-somethings look bad?

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Since the first announcement of Google Glass, it’s been a goldmine for comedians (and wannabe-comedians) everywhere. But while many of us were busy mocking this latest tech, one teenager conceived of a way to use it to help those suffering from autism — by creating a program to recognize expressions and emotion.

Catalin Voss, from Heidelberg, Gemany, started working for a Silicon Valley startup three years ago when he was just 15, because apparently that’s what teenagers in Germany do. He’s also been creating Voss has been creating apps for the iPhone practically since its debut.

Being a kind of absurdly talented and focused teenager, when he and his friend Jonathan Yan took an engineering class that they found boring, they decided to try to fix it rather than complain about it like normal people. Now a student at Stanford, Voss has plans for his own company: Sension, a start-up that will use software to track expressions and body language.

The software is intended primarily as educational tools: should your gaze drift slowly from a video as you struggle not to fall into a dazed stupor, the technology will startle you back to focus with a quiz question. But Voss and co-founder Yan are also working on using the face-tracking technology to help facilitate social interaction by helping those who have autism or similar disorders distinguish between various expressions and the emotions behind them.

One educational software company is already using the Sension engine in software that’s coming out later today. If depressingly smart and savvy coders are really able to turn Google Glass from the world’s most awkward porn delivery system into a tool to help others, well, then we’re sorry for all the jokes.

(via Wired, image via Sension)

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