But the decision has created problems for the researchers using the sensors.

“You create a technology out of necessity, you do good science with it, you make it widely available, and when the company decides to cease manufacturing, it stalls the science,” said Matthew Goodwin, an assistant professor at Northeastern University and founding member of Affectiva’s scientific advisory board.

He has hoarded 30 sensors to use in his ongoing studies of children with severe developmental disabilities, including autism. “We’re now all dependent on the technology and there is not a good alternative in the marketplace, which was the very reason we commercialized it in the first place.”