Samsung has unveiled a new health app in its home turf of Korea. The Look At Me app is made to help develop communication skills in children with autism, with a view to deepening relationships with those around them.
Many children with autism struggle to make and sustain eye contact with others, which is something that could affect them socially as they grow up. Studies have shown that these children like to interact with smart devices, so Samsung collaborated with doctors and professors from Seoul National University and Yonsei University to develop Look At Me and conducted joint clinical trial with 20 children for 8 weeks.
Samsung collaborated with doctors and professors from Seoul National University and Yonsei University to develop the Look At Me app.Through a smartphone’s camera function, children can learn to read a person’s mood, remember faces and take photos of themselves exhibiting a range of emotions and different poses. Included within the app are seven interactive missions to keep the children engaged, while a point system, various rewards and sound/visual effects keep them motivated to do better. Each mission takes about 15 to 20 minutes a day to complete.
According to professor Kyong-Mee Chung at Yonsei University, 60% of the children tested showed improvement in making eye contact. “They could also identify emotional expressions more easily,” he said, adding that the app could help children with autism “improve their perception and expression of diverse emotions, such as happiness, surprise and fear.”
The application is available as a free download from the Google Play Store. In partnership with Autism Speaks Canada, Samsung Canada is launching The Look At Me Project, a program that will donate 200 GALAXY Tab S devices preloaded with the app to 200 Canadian families living with autism. Said project is designed to create a shared community to connect Canadian families with similar experiences.
Over 60 million people are diagnosed with autism globally, and there is a lack of hospitals and facilities to treat them effectively. Treatment costs are also high and there are often long waiting times associated with the condition.