Aside from their partnership with the Special Olympic Games, Microsoft is also stepping up their efforts to help individuals with autism. Of late, Microsoft have committed to employing autistic men and women full time for their math and coding skills and they have even patented a pair of glasses that will detect the emotion of the person being looked at for that target audience.
Autism is a neurological disorder that causes symptoms such as impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and repetitive behavior. While the condition is highly inheritable, it is believed that environmental factors may also play a role.
Microsoft Hackathons are events where developers collaborate together to help each other realize each other's projects. At a Hackathon event running all this week, a team headed by Microsoft employee Cari Mason is producing a game that will help those diagnosed with autism to develop skills to improve their lives. Mason was inspired to build the game by her son who has autism.
During the Hackathon, Mason worked with Shreyas Deshmukh who lives in India; a twelve hour time distance away but that hasn't hindered progress on the project. The team receives feedback from autistic testers during development of the game which is called Neuroversity and currently runs on PCs. The whole project is about helping others and that brings out the best in the team. As Mason herself says:
"You know, I’m really not as worried about winning. What I really want to see is people’s lives impacted. I want to see people be able to play these games, and I want to see their lives changed."
This is just one of the projects that will emerge from the //oneweek Hackathon. These events regularly create projects to improve the lives of people and if this one is an indication of what's to come in the rest of the week, then we look forward to reporting them to you. Keep your eye on WinBeta for more news.