Projections for Autism

Choosing to be a teacher for kids and adults on the Autistic spectrum for your profession is a fabulously noble thing to do. It can be frustrating though, for the same reasons being any sort of adventurer, archeologist, or scientist can be frustrating: there are things we just don’t know. More research is being done every day on Autism, and new things are being discovered daily, too! How should we continue to latch on to an understanding of this disorder all night and party every day? Sixthsense!

What better way to work on an ever-evolving impairment to social interaction and communication than to project the way? Similar to the other Sixthsense object we just posted, SixthSense for Search and Rescue, this projects and is made to work right along with, inside, easily incorporated into the lives we already live.

This device is small, about the size of a sliced-bread sandwich, and it projects onto the ground, or whatever’s in front of you, letting you know what’s up in many different ways and in many different situations.

In this tiny gesture, in this tiny device, a person who might otherwise struggle to get through a normal day’s routine might have the opportunity to bring themselves the joy of being self-reliant.

NOTE: I know there are several people (if not a large group of people) who visit Yanko and have some pretty heavy ideas about Autism and Autism-related objects, so don’t be shy if you’ve got some comments for the designer!

Also check out this brief video narrated by the designer himself!

Designer: Timothy Byrne

SixthSense for Autism by Timothy Byrne




  • ebbandflow says:

    While the idea is noble, the execution is less then perfect. There are several issues ill highlight but wont dwell to long on. Note: Im not sure what tech is being the designer is planning on using.

    The first is generating a projection at a high enough ANSI lumen to combat the sun.

    The next is the need for auto focusing and key stoning, which may drastically increase cost in such a small device.

    The third is any meaningfully interaction may be hampered by the fact that a hand in the image above would create a decent sized shadow/void obscuring the image.

    Even if you can resolve issues 1 and 2 you are going to end up with an incredibility expesive device.

    i’m not an expert in autism or their inherent needs but it seems this rich interaction could be achieved on a device such as the ipad, with an app targeted at the needs of someone with autism.

    Maybe even a smart phone using augmented reality through its camera with the device being a screen that can generate the “code images/markers” needed.

    A branch of industrial design, is interaction design you may find you don’t need to create a physical product. Digital solutions can be created here and now, and instead of ending up with a neat concept you could produce something that could be used and implemented almost immediately.

    • Dieter says:

      How is an ipad app going to help make this user cope with person to person interaction and communication without putting a wall between them? It is an easy thing to say, “you could just make an app for that.”
      This device was designed for the specific and somewhat surprising needs of this specific user.

      Also There are pico laser projectors out on the market now which have an infinite focus so this means there is no need for auto focusing.

      This technology has already been proven by MIT’s Pranav Mistry, check it out.

  • Richard says:

    Cool!no more velcro burn or lost icons.

  • Anne Mastrostefano says:

    I just retired after 35 years of teaching Sp.Ed. I would love to learn more about this project. I feel that it is a SixthSense.

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