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$3,758 pledged of $30,000 goal
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By AutismSees
$3,758 pledged of $30,000 goal
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About this project

The Short and Sweet Version:

AutismSees is developing technology systems to help people with autism, and other social communication disabilities, learn to communicate effectively in stressful social situations. There is a massive gap between the capabilities of the this community, and the opportunities young adults with ASD are typically afforded. We believe that with our technology, we can close that gap. We are working on the development of our first product: Podium. To bring this product to those who need it, we need your help to raise $30,000. For more information, please keep reading!

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Podium is INNOVATION

We have developed Podium: an iPad application that will decrease anxiety and increase skill in traditionally stressful social situations. These situations may be particularly difficult for those with social communication disorders, such as Autism. For this reason, we are tailoring our research and design towards this community’s needs.

Podium is CLEVER

As the user practices sets of interview questions, the application can either track key facial points, allowing behind-the-scenes gaze analysis, or video the practice interview. Facial tracking—especially as we improve it through product iterations—will allow researchers to test communication interventions, and allow the user to receive real-tie feedback on their non-verbal communication. Furthermore, the video feature allows users to keep their friends, families and mentors up to date on their practice.

Podium is THE FUTURE

Not only does Podium allow the user to perfect their communication skills, but it will allow researchers to test and develop interventions by providing facial tracking data in an accessible format. Researchers at the Tufts Center for Engineering Outreach and Education are already piloting this feature—collecting facial tracking points of autistic students involved in a summer robotics program.

Podium is CONNECTED

The following connections have allowed us to develop our technology to where it is today, and will continue to help expand our impact in the future.

  • Boston Medical Center: Partnering with their peer-mentorship program to trial our application.
  • MassChallenge: Currently in the final round of competition, where we receive world-class mentorship.
  • Microsoft: Partnered through the 3-year BizSpark program.
  • Massachusetts General Hospital Aspire program: piloting the Podium app September, 2015
  • World class advisors:

Podium is QUALIFIED

Along with all of the incredible mentors, Podium's founding team is highly qualified. Meet the team below!

Podium is IN PROGRESS

Since its conception, this talented group of people have taken great strides towards helping users conquer fears of social communication, and reach their full potential. However, we have a far way to go. We need to develop backend analytics to provide users with real-time feedback on their communication performance. We need to expand our reach, and help sponsor mentorship programs something about why. We need to get our product ON THE MARKET.

This is where you come in.

Where your donation will go

Kickstarter Fees: Kickstarter takes 10% of the funds raised, so this allocation will cover those funds.

Technology Development: As discussed above, we have so many fantastic ideas for our technology. This allocation of money will pay our developer to work solely on our project for 3 months, which will cover the development of approximately 2 versions of the iPad app, or will allow us to integrate existing and proven facial tracking software into the app.

Trademark and Word Mark Fees: We just had our logos trademarked, and the names ‘Podium’ and ‘AutismSees’ word marked. This allocation will cover the application fees for those IPs.

Website Development: We have fantastic designs for our website, and are looking to have them turned in to a high-quality reality! This allocation will pay a skilled and experienced programmer to build our website professionally.

Peer Mentoring Program: Our teammate, Alix Generous, has developed a research-based peer mentoring program that she would like to implement through AutismSees. This allocation would give her access to the resources she needs to make that happen.

For any questions, please reach out to autismsees@gmail.com.

Risks and challenges

Developing a technology that can be used by both clinical programs and the general population can be difficult, and we expect to run in to some road blocks along the way. However, some of our collective qualifications as well as our connections and resources will help us surpass these obstacles. Some of the possible roadblocks are posted below, as well as some resources we could tap to overcome those roadblocks.

Roadblock: Technology must be HIPPA-compliant

Solution: This is, in fact, a roadblock that we are working on tackling right now, before piloting Podium at MGH. Our partnership with Microsoft allows us free access to Azure: a HIPPA compliant data-storage system. One of our developers will do a complete data migration of our existing data, eliminating the problem.

Roadblock: Funding

Solution: The primary short-term concern with this startup is funding its development. Along with this Kickstarter campaign, we are looking in to applying to an SBIR grant, which would fund future research with our app at the Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach.

Roadblock: Technology development

Solution: We are looking forward to developing out the current iPad application, as well as making Podium platform-agnostic. We are hoping to bring on a group of Tufts undergraduate seniors to help make this dream a reality for their senior capstone project. In the mean-time, we hire out our development work, which can be slow. To speed up the development process, we have started looking for a developer to join our team!

Beyond that, we have a fantastic founding team that is extremely qualified for this work.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Your name will be placed on our website.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    An individual in need will receive a free podium app.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    You will receive a personalized thank you video from the founding AutismSees team. Also includes lesser-value rewards.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    You will get a tour of the Kendall/MIT branch of the Microsoft office with a member of the founding team. Also includes lesser-value rewards.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    You will receive a free assessment of your presentation and interview skills by the AutismSees team, as well as personalized tips. Also includes lesser-value rewards.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    We will do our best to include any feature you request on our iPad or Kinect programs. Also includes lesser-value rewards.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    You will receive a free assessment of your presentation and interview skills, along with helpful tips. You will also receive one free LifeMap coaching session with certified LifeMap coach Anthony Principe.

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Funding period

- (30 days)