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Updated Feb 3, 2014 - 7:54 am

Autism sufferers may be helped by wearing Google Glass

Thirty-year-old Paul Louden is a Google Glass explorer (Photo by Bob McClay/KTAR).

PHOENIX -- Google is conducting research to find out if people on the autism spectrum can be helped by wearing Google Glass.

Thirty-year-old Paul Louden is a Google Glass explorer. He suffers from Asperger's syndrome, and he is exploring ways that the glasses may help people who suffer from diseases within the autism spectrum.

Louden paid $1,500 for his pair of Google Glass six months ago.

"They're a wearable computer," Louden said. "You wear them on your head, and the screen sits sort of above and to the right, kind of luck the rearview mirror in your car. It's there and can give you information, but it doesn't really get in the way of seeing the road, seeing what's around you."

Sometimes he and others with Asperger syndrome have trouble remembering things. The glasses can be programmed to help him remember to do things like daily chores.

"With the Google Glass, setting reminders is as easy as saying ‘OK Glass, remind me that when I get home, to do the dishes'," said Louden. "Suddenly, now, there's a reminder out there on the internet, so that when you get home, your Google Glass will make a little noise and tell you that your dishes need doing."

Louden added that victims of autism have problems dealing with situations that don't go exactly as planned, such as a mix-up with a hotel or car rental reservation. He can use the Hangout video chat feature to call for help. Using a small camera on the glasses, they can see what he's seeing, and help him out.

Louden also said that Google is hoping to expand the program this year, and is trying trying to find ways to lower the price of the Glass to around $600. He thinks that is still too expensive, and that a price of around $400 would be more appropriate.

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About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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