Samuel Kim, a 9 year old boy with autism from Los Angeles found in good condition. Kim had only been missing for about 6 hours and this story has a happy ending. As reported yesterday, more often than they should, these events end in tragedy.
Many children and adults with autism have a tendency to walk away somewhere without giving a warning. Often they are not aware that they may be lost. They may not have verbal communication skills. There are now tools that could help locate people with autism.
Technology can improve the standard and quality of life for the people living with autism and those that have other disabilities. For many businesses, this can become a good opportunity to reach new markets. Many products are being developed to combine profits with social welfare. One such product could be a smart watch that monitors the emotions of people with autism and help locate them when they wander off.
Kreyos has designed such an item: a smart watch that can be used as a two-way communication device. It is called “Meteor’. It may be the first smart watch that has been made to understand gestures and speech. People do not need to take anything out of their pockets or to touch screens. The design allows Kreyos Meteor to be flexible in how it is worn. Many individuals with autism experience aversion to being touched or having items touch them. If the wristband design is not suitable, then it could be changed into a belt clip or a lanyard hung.
The services can combine a GPS location on demand. Automatic alerts can be created when users leave a pre-defined zone or if the watch falls off accidentally. The device can work with two-way voice and monitored round the clock.
Voice and gestures can be used to communicate with friends through vocal or text messages. Meteor works with Apple’s Siri and can also work with other smartphone vocal applications when made available. What is significant is that parents one day may be able to use a gesture or vocal sound that their child uses in distress.
While still in the early stages of development, it is unclear how flexible the gesturing will be. With the current gesture control being offered, people will be able to change music, answer calls or check on alerts with a simple movement among many other activities. Four different wrist motions will be available when the smart watch reaches the market. Additional gestures would require further development.
The Meteor can be connected to a iOS, Android or Windows Phone handsets through Bluetooth 4.0. It has a built-in voice command, similar to Siri that can respond to calls, reply to text messages and emails and even make appointments.
There is a gyroscope and an accelerometer on a triple axis that can trace the movement of the hand through space. For example, if people want to associate a flinging wrist type of gesture to a skipping song kind of function, they can very well do that. As reported on the Indiegogo Page, the Meteor has many tools for developers to play with such activity trackers that have been built-in and an ANT+ sensor that can monitor the heart rate while being mobile. It is possible to monitor the heart rate even under water.
The Meteor also has a built-in pedometer that tracks the number of steps taken in a day and shows the total distance walked. It also shows the number of stairs climbed and the number of calories that have been burnt during the day.
- The Kreyos Meteor includes a speaker and a microphone.
- It is water proof.
- Open-ended design.
- USB-connected cradle.
- Once charged, the Meteor can keep on showing time for a whole week before the battery drains out.
Kreyos has set up the Indiegogo page and turned it into a flexible funding promotion. The expected retail price for Meteor is going to be around $169 with deliveries beginning in November, 2013.