Samsung Canada's new app helps coach kids with autism on eye contact, social skills

By Jonah Comstock
06:27 am
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Look At Me Samsung AutismSamsung Canada has partnered with Autism Speaks Canada to launch "Look At Me", an Android tablet app designed to help children with autism improve their eye contact and social skills. The app will be available for free on Google Play for various Samsung Galaxy Tab, Note, and Zoom devices. Samsung is also launching The Look At Me Project, an initiative to give away 200 free tablets to Canadian families with autistic children.

The app was designed by a team of clinical psychologists, cognitive psychologists, and psychiatrists and is currently undergoing clinical testing. It contains gamified activities (with points, rewards, and missions) in which the child interacts with a parent via the tablet's built-in camera and viewfinder. Kids are recommended to use the app 15 to 20 minutes per day, and a status report from each session can be viewed on a parental dashboard. The app was previously launched and tested in Korea.

The 200 families that receive free Galaxy Tab S tablets from the program will also be connected through an online forum, allowing them to share their experiences with the app with one another and provide support for getting the most out of the technology. This pilot program will last eight weeks. Applications will be accepted through January 16th and families will be notified in mid-February.

"Autism Speaks Canada is committed to making a difference in the autism community," Autism Speaks Canada board chair Marc Munaghan said in a statement. "Giving a tablet to an individual with autism, who wouldn't otherwise have one, means new opportunities to connect, communicate and learn. Advancements in technology can make a significant impact on individuals with autism and their families."

As a large technology company, Samsung engages in myriad health ventures. A major focus of the company lately has been its open access development platform for digital health, which includes software initiative SAMI and hardware program SimBand. Through these programs and its S Health app, the company is looking for ways to engage both the wellness and clinical sectors of the healthcare system.

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