With 1 out of 59 children being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, it is important to share how Augmented Reality technology is improving the lives of people living with it and their families. Game on For Autism Research or GoFAR is a foundation that’s using Google Glass smart glasses to help kids with autism improve their social awareness with life-changing technology.
Google Glass and Empowered Brain
Herb Chambers Automotive Family and many other donors have supported The GoFAR Family Assistance Program. The program has helped numerous families affected by autism use Google Glass along with the program Empowered Brain from Brain Power.
Google Glass is an Augmented Reality device that’s wearable like glasses. Both regular and AR glasses allow the user to see reality. The difference is, that the AR glasses alter reality with digital content projected over it. Using the neuro assistive and educational program Empowered Brain along with Google Glass technology encourages kids to interact with the people around them.
The Remarkable Founder & Donors
Jamie Menhall is a 12th-grade student from Boston University Academy and is also the non-profit’s founder! At 12 years old, Menhall shadowed autism therapists and got involved in peer support at his school. As a kid himself, he understood that apps and video games got his peers engaged and excited about learning. As a result, he founded GoFAR with generous support from donors like Mr. Chambers.
“Mr. Chambers’ generosity was critical in getting GoFAR off the ground,” said Menhall. “He took a chance on a teen with a vision of advancing autism research and innovating new assistive technologies. The financial support he and our other generous donors have provided is helping to change the lives of children and their families affected by autism spectrum disorder.”
Thanks to the $70,000 that’s been donated to GoFAR from The Herb Chambers Automotive Family; and charitable donators like Rodman for Kids, Endicott Family, the Plimpton Shattuck Fund at the Boston Foundation, the Litch Family, and the Mosko Family of the Bahamas; families in need will get a Google Glass device for free.
How Google Glass is Helping Kids with Autism
Kids that go through GoFAR’s program with Google Glass and Brain Power also get gamified social skills training. Those that wear them learn how to socialize through training games that have the allure of video games — with points and rewards! Kids can be hands-free and look at real facial emotions, teach themselves how to read the emotion and interact with adults and peers. If it’s difficult to transition from task or place Google Glass and Brain Power can help kids learn how to do it.
Parents, teachers, and treatment teams will get science-backed data from MIT and Harvard neuroscientists that quantitatively tracks and shows how kids are progressing and will also track emotional states like stress and anxiety. The glasses and learning program are compatible with iPhones and Android smartphones. They aren’t broken easily and can be used over everyday glasses. The smartglasses and specialized social learning program are helping kids become more connected to their peers, families, and the world around them.
Where to Donate
Interested in donating to GoFAR Foundation? Visit the GoFAR site to donate!