Around the world more than 60 million people are affected by autism. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are especially characterized by difficulties with eye contact, social interaction and communication. Sensitive to these issues, Samsung developed an app called "Look at Me". As the name suggests, is a proposed application to encourage eye contact in autistic children and to help them develop social skills.
The application uses a combination of games, photos and facial recognition technology to help autistic children to decipher body language and facial emotions. Look at Me is composed of seven games / missions that help children to express themselves through eye contact, facial expression recognition and expression of their own emotions.
Some of the challenges include the practice of certain facial expressions ("Key phrase"), while in others encourages the children to draw facial features of existing photos. Each challenge rewards you with points based on your performance. The company recommends a daily use of the application of at least 15 to 20 minutes.
In addition, Samsung has created an application forum where parents can share their experiences and create a support network. "This project helps facilitate meaningful connections between parents, caregivers and children," the company said. To develop Look at Me, Samsung worked with a multidisciplinary team of psychologists, psychiatrists and UX designers. The application was developed in conjunction with the Hospital of Seoul National University and the Department of Psychology at Yonsei University in South Korea.
The application was tested on 20 children over eight weeks during 15 minutes per day. More than half of the children had improvements in eye contact and facial expression recognition.
Based on parents' feedback, the application had a 60% success rate. Although the results are not conclusive, function as an indication and can be useful to help cope with the symptoms of autism, claims Samsung.
To achieve reach more families, recently the Autism Speaks Canada Group has partnered with Samsung Canada to offer 200 Tablets Samsung Galaxy S incorporated with Look At Me application to families with autistic children. The technology company joins thus a growing list of brands that create products to help people with autism and comes some time after Google announced a similar project. Together with the group Autism Speaks, the Internet giant has created a platform where scientists around the world can share and access research on autism and similar disorders.
Application Look at Me, which already has a 4 star rating, is available for free download in Google Play store and can be used by any mobile phone with #Android system.