DENVER, CO - October 24, 2016 -
After participating in the Hacking Austism Hackathon event, Place Global, a technology leader in the internet of things space, was inspired to utilize its software to develop solutions for the autistic community.
They formed a small test group of parents, and with their adult autistic children embarked on a beta program that is sheding positive light and showing promise. The high-tech solution uses little battery enabled devices called 'beacons' that can be placed within a home, apartment or work environment, an iOS and Android app (called PlaceApp) for delivering appropriate proximity-based content and reminders, and a private customer website interface (called PlaceConnect) for authoring individualized content.
The basic purpose is to assist with time management, executive function, tasks to be completed, or reminders to do things. For example, a child could enter the bathroom in the morning, and the PlaceApp would know where they are and when and what content to deliver to them, such as reminders to shower, brush your teeth and take your medicine. The software also has the ability to track dwell times and movement, which can be especially helpful for parents and caregiver monitoring. What has become an important feature of this solution is that the software is flexible enough to deliver content in a way that is desirable for the individual. If somone likes lists, they can create their own list. If someone wants to view tasks visually, because that is best for them, they can upload their own pictures. In fact, text, images, video and even audio are all supported. Generally, the PlaceConnect authoring environment is easy enough to use so with a session or two of training, the participating austistic children can create their own content for themselves.
Alan Johnson, CEO of Place Global said, "In launching our beta group, we were not certain what to expect. Overall it's been an incredibly positive experience for all. The software and technology is exciting for the kids, the parents are excited about being able to remotely assist and monitor, and we couldn't be more thrilled about helping find solutions to hack autism." He added, "It has also been amazing to me how each person implemented their own content, reminders and schedules in unique ways."
One participant is an autistic student who just graduated high school and is now at university. She decided to use the technology to display content that reminds her about her weekly schedule, homework and upcoming tests and assignments before they come due. She is excited about having an app that will help reminder her of things to do whenever she comes into her dorm room and hopes to have a successful entry into life away from home.
Steve Allen, Business Outreach Specialist for the state of Colorado and one of the Hackathon organizers said, "I first heard Alan share his vision for Place Global and how they were impacting a school for the blind. I felt if he came to the Hackathon, Place Global would begin to impact the Autism world as well. It's nice to be right every now and then."
In addition to the Place Global beta group, Imagine Colorado, a large Colorado non-profit for those with disabilities has begun testing the software for different uses among the population it serves. The software is also used internationally in schools for the visually impaired. The visually impaired students are given audio prompts, or exercises based on proximity to the beacon devices, and responses are collected within google classroom.
Place Global continues to look to the future of what emerging technology can offer in solutions to the autistic community, and has found some solutions that can be delivered today. If you would like more information, to sign-up or get involved, please contact the Place Global team at www.placeglobal.com.
For more information on Place Global, please visit www.placeglobal.com.
Place Global, PlaceApp, PlaceConnect and PlaceBeacons are trademarks of Place Global. iBeacon is a trademark of Apple Inc. All other trademarks belong to their respective owners.