Google Glass Helps Those With Parkinson's
June 11, 2015

I’ll be the first to admit it—Google Glass is a little weird. If you wear it, you look like a lost member of the Star Trek cast. Or else an extreme hipster. (Neither is exactly desirable.) But after receiving a $25,000 grant from Google, the Mark Morris Dance Group’s Dance for PD has actually created software for Google Glass to be used by people with Parkinson’s Disease. While wearing the Glass, users can give the software commands, like “walk with me” or “warm me up.” A video appears, offering the user guidance on whatever activity he or she has selected. In the video below, Joy Esterberg, who takes class regularly via MMDG’s Dance for PD program, asks the Glass software to walk with her; a video of a woman walking—her back is to us—instantly plays, along with music to help Esterberg keep the beat. (A task as simple as walking, Esterberg says, becomes incredibly difficult with Parkinson’s; she describes it as “moving through mud.”) The music and the video instruction help her keep a steady pace.

The software is called Moving Through Glass. It’s still in beta, but the MMDG studio has 25 pairs available for Dance for PD students to try out. Check out Esterberg’s experience with it in the video below.


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