The prece­dent for teaching stu­dents to build appli­ca­tions for wear­able tech­nology doesn’t exist. “There’s no text­book, ” said Rupal Patel, an asso­ciate pro­fessor in North­eastern University’s Depart­ment of Speech Lan­guage Pathology and Audi­ology. “Building [wear­able] tech­nology for health issues is a whole new area.”

There isn’t even a reli­able Google Glass manual. “The devices are still in the early stages of devel­op­ment,” said Stephen S. Intille, asso­ciate pro­fessor in the university’s Col­lege of Com­puter and Infor­ma­tion Sci­ence and the Bouvé Col­lege of Health Sci­ences. “Stu­dents adapt as they go.”

Patel and Intille co-​​teach a two-​​semester course that chal­lenges stu­dents to create apps that will “help people make behav­ioral changes” that will improve health, Intille said. The course debuted during the 2013–2014 aca­d­emic year against a back­drop of uncer­tainty. Glass’s “basic capa­bil­i­ties would change throughout the semester as Google updated the core oper­ating system and func­tion­ality,” Intille said.

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