EnhancedTouch is a bracelet-type wearable device for facilitating human-human physical touch. In particular, we aim to support children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), who often exhibit particular communication patterns, such as a lack of physical touch. EnhancedTouch is a unique device that can measure human-human touch events and provide visual feedback to augment touch interaction. We employ personal area network (PAN) technology for communication with partner devices via modulated electrical current flowing through the users’ hands. Our user study shows that the visual feedback provided by the developed bracelet motivates children with ASD to touch one another. Moreover, EnhancedTouch offers a function to record the time and duration of a touch event as well as the identity of the touched person. This allows us to identify and evaluate interventions based on physical touch in a quantitative manner.
FaceLooks is a headband-type wearable device used for measuring the time of the face-to-face state with the identity of the partner, using an infrared emitter and receiver. It can also be used for behavioral healthcare applications, such as for children with developmental disorders who exhibit difficulties with the behavior, by providing awareness through visual feedback from the partner’s device. Two laboratory experiments showed the device’s detection range and response time, tested with a pair of dummy heads. Another laboratory experiment was done with human participants with gaze trackers and showed the device’s substantial agreement with a human observer. We then conducted two field studies involving children with intellectual disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorders. The first study showed that the devices could be used in the school setting, observing the children did not remove the devices. The second study showed that the duration of children’s face-to-face behavior could be increased under a visual feedback condition. The device shows its potential to be used in therapy and experimental fields because of its wearability and its ability to quantify and shape face-to-face behavior.