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.