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Researchers Hack Sony Headset to Simulate Autism


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A test subject wearing a modified Sony HMX-T3W headset.

Researchers at Osaka University and the University of Tokyo have modified a headset to simulate the vision and hearing of people with autism spectrum disorder.

Credit: Osaka University

Japanese researchers at Osaka University and the University of Tokyo have used an experimental headset to simulate the vision and hearing of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

People with ASD can experience sensory overload and deficit and also struggle to understand the emotional states of others.

The team mounted a forward-facing Wi-Fi webcam on a Sony HMZ-T3W headset, which is designed for watching movies and covers the eyes with two screens. When video from the webcam is delivered to the screens, the simulation's image-processing program washes out the faces of people, making their expressions fuzzy and impossible to see. Moreover, white dots like swirling snow appear on the screens in response to loud noise, distorting the high-contrast image. Earphones linked to a microphone in the webcam relay a distorted audio signal.

"We hypothesize that [people without autism] experiencing an artificial ASD perceptual system would have the same difficulty with environment recognition and taking action," according to the researchers.

From IDG News Service
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Abstracts Copyright © 2015 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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