Google Glass Could Make Life Easier for People with Parkinson’s

Researchers at Newcastle University conducted a study on several volunteers and reached to the conclusion that smart glasses in general, and Google Glass in particular, could

Judging by the following images, one could say that all that Google Glass does to help people with Parkinson’s is remind them when it’s time to take their medication. However, one must first realize what the main symptom of this medical condition is before making such shallow assumptions. After all, Google Glass could help anyone suffering from a health problem that requires daily medication by displaying reminders, but it’s the inability of people with Parkinson’s to properly use touchscreens that makes smart glasses so great for them.

A group of scientists at Newcastle University worked with a group of volunteers aged between 46 and 70 to find out how Google Glass could make their lives better. All the apps used by the volunteers on the smart glasses were specifically tailored to meet each person’s needs and lifestyle. The five headsets used by the University for this studied had been donated by Google with the sole purpose of conducting research.

Lynn Tearse, a volunteer on the study, pointed out that “People would probably say you can do all these things on a smartphone but actually, with Parkinson’s, negotiating a touch screen is really difficult.”

On the other hand, Roisin McNaney, a PhD student, stated that “People with Parkinson’s are already coping with so much and one of the main causes of social isolation is the stigma around behaviors such as drooling and tremor which they have no control over.”

Dr John Vines, one of the researchers who conducted this study, expressed his enthusiasm regarding the way people with Parkinson’s adopted this new technology: “What was really encouraging from this early study was how well our volunteers took to the wearable technology and the fact that they could see the potential in it.”

Even the basic features of Google Glass, namely placing calls and sending text messages using voice commands, could prove to be life-saving for people with Parkinson’s, considering how hard it would be for them to dial numbers or type words on a touch keyboard. It will be interesting to see what other uses will researchers find for Google’s smart glasses.

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