The SensorAble Project

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90% of autistic adults report that sensory issues cause significant barriers at school and work (Leekam et al., 2007). Wearable technologies (e.g., smart glasses) offer the possibility to monitor environments and adjust user-experiences. This research proposes applying such technologies to reduce anxiety-inducing distractions and create prompts that may increase autistic adults’ attentional-focus and quality-of-life.

New updates available…click here to read more

SensorAble (\ˈsen-sȯr-əbəl — or alt. — \sen-ˈsȯr-əbəl) is a multi-disciplinary MPhil/PhD Research Project. SensorAble proposes a multi-sensory, assistive technology that filters distractions and increases focus for autistic individuals. It fulfils a gap in scholarly knowledge regarding the exploration, design, application and testing of purpose-built wearable technologies that employ artificial intelligence for cognitive enhancement for those diagnosed with autism, by increasing their attentional focus and quality of life and through de-emphasizing anxiety-inducing environmental distractions and over-stimulation.

SensorAble aims to distinguish itself from prior cognate studies in three respects. Prior research uses sensory technology that “interprets socioaffective cues such as tone of voice or facial expression to systematize and understand social interaction” (Kaliouby & Picard, 2006, 243). In contrast, SensorAble’s goal supports users by means of tuned awareness and customized intervention through alerts prior to the onset of anxiety, distraction or loss of focus by:

  • monitoring physiological responses and environmental disruptions and comparing them to a known and growing catalogue of individually learned distractions (e.g., those visual and aural sensations that create anxiety unique to each user);

  • adjusting the user experience by diminishing or eliminating visual disturbances, head sway (pupillary observation or inertial monitoring) and offending sounds (noise-cancelling, spatial focusing and frequency/amplitude corrections); and,

  • providing notification or anticipatory feedback through vibration and alerts (haptics) that aim to reduce or eliminate anxiety before onset.
  • If you would like to learn more about SensorAble, have any questions or would like to discuss the study in more detail, please contact the project researcher David Ruttenberg at


    New articles

    15 September 2020

    Over the last several months, four (4) new research articles pertaining to SensorAble have made their way to cyberspace, including:

  • Sound Impairment Effect on Cognitive Skill Performance
  • PPI Questionnaire on Adaptive Wearable Appropriateness as an Autistic Intervention
  • In Defence of ML/CNN for the SensorAble Research Project
  • Refining the ML/DL Argument for the SensorAble Project

    Happy reading…more news in a month!

    Scrub, scrub, scrub the data

    1 August 2020

    Transcriptions of all online videos, scrubbing of both qualitative data and quantitative data is now complete. They have been safely and securely archived and stored away on the UCL’s servers, whilst analyses is now just commencing and the data looks incredibly interesting. There are indeed many surprises, particularly those that break gender boundaries with regard to distractibility, focus and anxiety! I am looking forward to sharing everything, once I have confirmed the results.

    Data collection now complete

    1 July 2020

    A huge thank you to each and every participant who contributed to the SensorAble focus groups and/or online surveys. Though I was sad not to be able to meet with you face-to-face (owing to the COVID-19 pandemic), it was wonderful to meet, greet, smile and converse online. I have made many new friends in the process, learned so much from all of you, and want you to know that you are appreciated beyond measure!

    For more information…

    You can always visit the SensorAble Project Page by clicking here.