Autism has been a long misunderstood disorder by the majority of people around the world. Research continues and progress has been made in understanding the disorders. However even with this progress, without a doubt, the challenges remain for the families and friends of those affected by the disorders. With that in mind, in an official proclamation by U.S. President Barack Obama, April 2nd has been deemed World Autism Awareness Day.
Just last year, Kinect made the news with a story about video game reviewer John Yan from Gaming Nexus whose son has a less severe form of autism but connected with Kinect. Evidently Yan’s at the time 4-year old son Kyle had difficulty playing games. Yan claims the controller was a barrier for him. This included challenges with the Wii which is generally considered an easier and more child freindly gaming console to play on. However when the family got the Kinect, Kyle was able to play it like it was second nature.
Once again, Kinect is back in the news and this time it’s raising public awareness about Autism. The Intrepid Museum in New York unveiled a new 3-D interactive unit as part of an exhibit promoting World Autism Awareness Day. As part of the exhibit, visitors can try to engage a life-sized image of a girl who avoids eye contact by utilizing the Kinect’s motion and body tracking abilities. The child avoiding eye contact is one of the common signs of Autism. Advocates are hoping this campaign will be another step to increase awareness and understanding of the disorder.
Kinect has proved itself useful in a lot of settings apart from a gaming environment. It’s good to see it playing a role in something as important as this in addition to its other uses. Hit the link below for a video of the exhibit in action.
[Via: NY 1]