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Video: Houston boy virtually 'visits' zoo from his hospital bed

 

Six-year-old Jayden Neal got a glimpse of the Houston Zoo last week, thanks to Google Glass. 

Neal has been a regular patient of Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston since being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about a year ago. The hospital recently teamed up with the Houston Zoo and the Google Glass Explorer program to give its pediatric patients a unique experience. 

"We had a great time working on the project," Natalie Camarata, social and multimedia manager at Memorial Hermann, said. "[The hospital] is right across from the Houston Zoo, so it was just a natural fit to be able to partner with them through Google Glass to be able to create that firsthand experience for these kids."

Neal, who usually looks for animals at the zoo through his hospital room window, was able to get a close-up view of jaguars, sea lions and giraffes by talking with zoo workers through Google Glass.

Camarata says Neal took to the technology very quickly.

"When we were working with him, we told him, you know, you can Google whatever you want. And the first thing he did was Google diabetes," Camarata said. "That there told me that he not only knew how to use the Internet already, he knew how to use it in a personal way and he was able to navigate this device like nothing."

The hospital has one pair of Glass through the Google Glass Explorer program. Several pediatrics patients were chosen to participate in the zoo experiment. Though there are no formal plans for any more Glass experiments, Camarata said the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. 

"We have a new appreciation for the device and we're excited to share this experience with our patients," Camarata said.