This MedTech Startup Idea from the 1001 Startup Ideas collection of YoStartups is to make Smart Glasses for Children with Autism. These kids find it hard to recognize emotions through facial expressions and often misinterpret emotions.
Market Definition for 1001 Startup Ideas – Smart Glasses for Children with Autism
As per National Health Statistics report, 1 in 45 children, age 3 through 17, have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Alone in the US, it is estimated to have more than 3.5 million Americans live with ASD, and around 1% of the total population in the UK suffer from the disorder.
Services related to Autism cost approximately $236 – $262 billion to US citizens annually. And this cost can be reduced by upto 65% by early diagnosis and care at the young age.
Competitor Analysis for 1001 Startup Ideas – Smart Glasses for Children with Autism
There are numerous Behavioral Healthcare centers that cater to autism patients based on different psychological tools. These centers often base their services on a one-to-one interaction between patient and behavioral expert.
Brain Power is a company headquartered in Massachusetts, USA, builds software and hardware to transform Google Glass into an assistive device for people with autism. The software contains powerful data collection and analytic tools allowing for customized feedback for the child, and production of quantitative reports on their social behaviors.
Pain Point and Target Audience for 1001 Startup Ideas – Smart Glasses for Children with Autism
The target audience for the startup would be ‘kids suffering from autism.’ Children suffering from autism have a lot of problems with social, emotional and communication skills. They have a hard time in reading emotions on people faces, and often get confused. It greatly affects their ability to socialize with their surrounding and are left isolated. They perceive even the efforts of teaching and guidance as that of ‘anger’ and ‘disgust’ which makes them less perceptive to learning.
Value Proposition for 1001 Startup Ideas – Smart Glasses for Children with Autism
The proposed startup can use the existing Google Glass and pair it with its proprietary apps to make an Augmented Reality Glass to help kids suffering from autism to overcome their fear of interaction and learn to communicate with confidence. Through the wearable, the kids can learn the communication skills while interacting with his real surrounding. The wearable will help him to find the right emotions shown by the people around in an interactive augmented reality environment, which is not intrusive.
The app will also collect data about the kid’s behavior under different situations to track the progress in his condition.
Business Model for 1001 Startup Ideas – Smart Glasses for Children with Autism
The startup will provide its services on a subscription-based model. Users would need to buy the Google Glass, and it will pair with software provided by the startup.
The startup can further keep innovating and add augmented reality based games for the autism kids which will help them cure in a fun and interactive way. Using this Google Glass they won’t be cut off from their surrounding like what happens with iPad or phone, but they will learn while still interacting with the real world.
Way to Market for 1001 Startup Ideas – Smart Glasses for Children with Autism
The startup must look to collaborate with a medical research center, or a facility specialized in autism care. This will help the startup to work closely with the autism kids and scientifically evolve their software with the real feedback and tracked progress on the use cases.
Only once there is medically proved improvements in the kids, the product should be launched. Even after launching, having a network of autism care facilities will help in word of mouth marketing and getting early adopters on-board.
Key Milestones for 1001 Startup Ideas – Smart Glasses for Children with Autism
Facial feature and emotion recognition is an established technology which can be made with Artificial Intelligence and paired with Google Glass, so the startup does not need to invent the wheel here. They only need to integrate their app with the wearable to make an interactive augmented reality-based learning environment. This should be completed in 2 months.
Once this is done, the startup needs to test the wearable with atleast 30 autism kids during the next six months to track their response and progress.
Investment needed for Prototyping | Smart Glasses for Children with Autism
The startup can look to work in collaboration with institutions that work towards supporting children with autism. Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation (ASDF) is one such foundation based in Indiana, the US that works with the kid’s family and provides them support with information, education and financial support.
The startup can look to raise some initial fund in the form of a grant from these institutions for product validation and refinement.
Team Capability | Smart Glasses for Children with Autism
The team must have a neuroscientist as one of its co-founders to lead the product development. The member will also be critical in getting partnerships with medical centers and research facilities.
There are already available SDKs and APIs which can be used to develop AR/VR solutions. But you should still have a team member with experience of working on AR/VR and machine learning to customize the solution.
Investors/Expert Take | Smart Glasses for Children with Autism
Autism rates reported having increased by three to four times higher than that of 30 years ago. There is a great need to be emphatic to those who have autism, and the effects it has on the individuals and their families.
These kids often shut themselves out from any social interaction to avoid any embarrassing situation. The proposed solution presents a good mix of socializing and learning/coaching in an augmented reality environment.
AR is already getting strong support in different industry segments like Real Estate, Tourism, Gaming, etc. and we see no reason it cannot leave its mark on ever-growing Medtech segment.
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