Samsung has developed a new app called ‘Look At Me,’ which helps children with autism improve eye contact and boost their social skills and facial recognition abilities.
The new app, which according to the Daily Mail was developed by Samsung in conjunction with professors, doctors, and designers in South Korea, is compatible with Samsung Galaxy S4, S4 and S5 plus Galaxy Note and Zoom range and the Galaxy Tab S; and is available for free at Google Play.
The team also designed a series of games, or ‘missions’ created specifically to assist children suffering from autism make eye contact instead of facial expressions and express their emotions.
One of the games created by Samsung and the rest of the team uses the front-facing camera to place the child’s face within the frame and take and image. This is believed to improve facial recognition and spatial awareness.
Another game also created by the team places faces of other people in small dots over a person’s eyes. The child is then allowed to identify the person whose face appears in the dot from a selection.
This is also thought to teach facial recognition including the ability to pick up clues by focusing on a person’s eyes, the firm explained. A third game according to the English paper, asks the child to identify happy and sad faces from a line-up. This game in particular was designed to assist autism sufferers recognise emotions.
To make the game more exciting and entertaining, users are giving character cards and points for every correct answer. To take children through the games, music and voice guides can be customised.
Tests conducted showed that 60% of 20 children trained on the app over a period of eight weeks showed significant improvement.
According to a professor at the Department of Psychology at Yomsei University, Professor Kyong-Mee Chung, the program will improve the social skills and relationships of children.
“This program will help children with autism improve their social skills and relationships.”
Another expert who added his voice to how usefulness of the app is Paediatric psychologist Hee-Jung Yoo from Seoul National University, who said: “Another benefit is that it is effective in encouraging a triangulation communication system, where children with autism can communicate with other people with the aid of a device.”
Report says more than 60 million people worldwide suffer from autism, and many also struggle to make eye contact and have poor social skills; and Samsung’s ‘Look At Me’ could help improve eye contact.