Cox Communications is celebrating Autism Acceptance Month by releasing research related to Project Convey, an enhanced form of videoconferencing or video chat designed for people on the autism spectrum.
The increasing reliance on video chat makes the challenges faced by people with autism even greater. The prototype videoconferencing system analyses facial expressions, words and tone of voice to create emojis that gives the person with autism clues about the feelings of the person with whom he or she is video chatting.
Cox’s New Growth and Development organization is looking at ways in which this technology can be integrated into the company’s products. Cox is releasing research and development information on the project to the autism community to build upon.
“Everyone deserves genuine human connection, and the increased use of video chat has made it even more of a challenge for individuals on the autism spectrum to obtain this,” Dr. Michelle Dean, autism expert and consultant for Cox Project Convey, said in a press release. “As shown in research, emojis are preferred by individuals with autism, so the video prototype gives these individuals a tool they already understand to help them connect.”
Videoconferencing is being used in various creative ways to help people. Two examples:
Fiber infrastructure from Big Bend Telephone has been used to enable the reopening of the Boquillas Crossing between the United States and Mexico, which had been closed for many years. Those entering the country at that point interact with border agents using videoconferencing equipment provided by the service provider.
Videoconferencing also has been put to creative use in remote areas of Alaska, where fixed wireless from GCI broadband has enabled the technology. GCI said that its broadband wireless infrastructure enables school children to view live animals at the Alaska Zoo and has facilitated telehealth visits with psychiatrists.