SwiftKey Symbols App Helps Non-Verbal Kids Communicate

11 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

SwiftKey Launches Symbol-based Assistive Communication App.

“We wanted to bring an accessible, free app to people with talking and learning difficulties so that they could communicate more easily with their friends and family,” Product Manager Ryan Barnes wrote in a blog post. SwiftKey, a keyboard app, has come to their rescue with an experimental application that aims to help these children and their families communicate with each other better. Powered by SwiftKey’s core contextual language-prediction technology, the app helps users build sentences by choosing hand-drawn images from a set of categories. Earlier this year a group of SwiftKey employees, some with experience with autism in their families, came up with the idea of developing an assistive app powered by SwiftKey’s core contextual language prediction technology ‘We realized that SwiftKey’s core prediction and personalization technology – which learns from each individual as they use it – would be a natural fit for people on the autistic spectrum who respond particularly well to routine-based activity,’ as mentioned on the company’s blog. ‘Cells have a halo of metabolites (small molecules involved in metabolism, the set of chemical processes that maintain life) and nucleotides surrounding them.

The company launched an experimental symbol-based assistive app today called SwiftKey Symbol, which it says can be used to build sentences using images. So far, the app is only in beta mode, currently under the protection of SwiftKey Greenhouse , the company’s department for users who want to test apps in development in order to provide feedback before their stable versions make it to the general public. Cells threatened or damaged by microbes, such as viruses or bacteria, or by physical forces or by chemicals, such as pollutants, react defensively, a part of the normal immune response, Naviaux said, and communications between cells are dramatically reduced. There are dozens of images all listed in an appropriate category such as people, colors, toys and they can also use the smart suggestion bar to help them build their thought.

If the user, for example, has music class at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays, and has previously selected symbols during that time, those icons will appear in the predictive sentence strip. This option uses predictive language technology that can accurately guess the next word, expression or even suggest a word based on the images that have already been chosen. The app also has the ability of tracking the use of symbols and the preference for one or another depending on the time of day and day of the week; this is another way the app learns which images the user would want to use, and therefore, increase the app’s relevancy in future predictions. Earlier this month, the National Autistic Society (NAS), made a film to help people understand how some people with autism’s senses might be more sensitive. The problems integrating their senses can lead to people becoming stressed or anxious, and possibly feeling physical pain, which can result in challenging behavior, according to the NAS.

This includes difficulty understanding and being aware of other people’s emotions and feelings and/or problems taking part in, or starting, conversations. Patterns of thought are another key area, namely restricted and repetitive patterns of thought or physical movement, such as hand tapping or twisting, and becoming upset if these set routines are disrupted.

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