For those of you who don't know much about Autism and the other disorders closely associated with it, I would recommend a click over here to find out a little more on what it is and how it effects people and their families.
One of the most prominent effects of Autism is the nearly complete inability to read or process other people's emotional responses. Researchers at MIT have developed software and a series of sensors (named Emotional Social Intelligence Prosthetic or ESP) which captures facial expressions and alerts the wearer of the other person's emotional state - all in real time. The system is a little bulky, but now that the concept has been proven, the rest is just superficial and can be improved. Here's a snippet from the Wired article:
The researchers are developing an outward-facing version of the ESP system with a cap-mounted camera connected to a wearable computer. People with autism spectrum disorders have a hard time determining others' emotions or even whether someone is paying attention to them. The system is designed to provide that missing information. Feedback could be visual or auditory messages describing the target person's mental state. It could also be tactile, like a vibration that cues the user to ask a question or move on to a new topic of conversation, said el Kaliouby.Friggin' MIT does it again.
Wired News: Face Reader Bridges Autism Gap