February 29, 2024

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VR To Help People With Autism Navigate Social Interactions

Virtual Reality Technology for People With Autism

A venture formed by students of New Zealand’s University of Auckland, which is developing virtual reality technology to help people with autism, has received funding to bring the concept to life over the summer.

As reported, Socius hopes to create specialist simulations for VR headsets to help people with autism better navigate social and professional situations.

Background

They were thrilled to secure a $5000 grant from and Australasian education consultancy this month.

The grant is awarded to only four promising projects in Australia and New Zealand with the potential to improve education in specific communities.

It will provide the student venture with the means to purchase vital equipment needed to test their simulations, such as 360-degree cameras and VR headsets.

The venture was formed by the University of Auckland students Anzel, Sarah Mwashomah and Weilian Du at last year’s Summer Lab.

Summer Lab is a six-week ideas accelerator run by the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship during the University summer holidays.

Founding member Anzel Singh explained that some people with autism often struggle with social interaction within everyday life situations such as job interviews.

The team realised that there were few support systems available and that technology has a lot of potential to make the social skill learning process easier.

About the Initiative

Simulations within VR headsets offer an excellent environment for people with autism to practice social skills, such as having a conversation with a stranger, in a non-judgemental space.

Over the summer, the venture will be testing a new platform for producing mixed reality. They are hoping that the exploration of this platform will allow them to make simulations more easily and ensure that meaningful modules are simple to understand and interact with.

They are also looking for software developers, more virtual and augmented reality enthusiasts and passionate people to join the team.

They are still in the process of researching how they want their simulations to be and which platform is best for utilisation and accessibility.

They are aiming to talk to as many people with autism spectrum disorder to ensure that the VR system produced is safe, inclusive and an effortless and positive experience for the user.

About the Venture

Since being formed, the venture has been developing the concept and bringing new talent on to the team.

They also became finalists in a sustainable innovation competition and were flown all-expenses-paid to Barcelona to pitch their idea at influential tech start-up event, 4YFN.

The start-up now has eight people working voluntarily on the technology part-time, with students from bioengineering, health psychology, and biological sciences joining the team, as well as a history student with autism spectrum disorder and a virtual reality tutor.

The original founders completed their degrees this year but will continue to see the venture through.

The team is hopeful that they can create a product that truly meets the needs of people with autism by bringing together all of these new skill sets and perspectives to the team.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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