Google Glass is coming on line next year and the Atlanta CEO Council has the chance to hear from one of its lead developers on September 30. Thad Starner, wearable computing pioneer, Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech, and Technical Lead on Google’s Glass, will discuss one of his projects and its medical applications.
The project, Mobile Music Touch (MMT), is an example of the great potential wearable computers have to improve users’ health and ability to learn. MMT is a glove that allows users to learn to play piano melodies without focusing on the lesson. The song to be learned is loaded on to a mobile phone, which plays the song repeatedly in the user’s earphones.
As each note is played, the glove taps the finger corresponding to the appropriate key on a piano keyboard. The user learns the “muscle memory” of the song even though he is attending to another task.
A recent study suggests that MMT improves hand sensation for people with quadriplegia due to partial spinal cord injury. Participants used the glove for eight weeks to learn piano melodies and showed significant hand sensation improvements compared to the control group. Subjects were over a year past injury, when improvements are considered to taper off and insurance often no longer covers rehabilitation services. MMT may provide a cost effective means for continuing rehabilitation while the user is mobile and with minimal intrusion on the wearer’s daily activities.
Thad received a PhD from the MIT Media Laboratory, where he founded the MIT Wearable Computing Project. Starner was perhaps the first to integrate a wearable computer into his everyday life as an intelligent personal assistant, and he coined the term “augmented reality” in 1990 to describe the types of interfaces he envisioned at the time. His groups’ prototypes on mobile context-based search, gesture based interfaces, mobile MP3 players, and mobile instant messaging foreshadowed now commonplace devices and services.
About Thad Starner
Thad has authored over 150 peer-reviewed scientific publications with over 100 co-authors on mobile Human Computer Interaction (HCI),machine learning, energy harvesting for mobile devices, and gesture recognition. He is listed as an inventor on over 80 United States patents awarded or in process.
Thad is a founder of the annual ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Wearable Computers, and his work has been discussed in many forums including CNN, NPR, the BBC, CBS’s 60 Minutes, ABC’s 48 Hours, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.