SwiftKey today released a new keyboard called SwiftKey Symbols, it’s described as a “symbol-based assistive communication app” that’s primarily targeted at non-verbal individuals, the differently-abled who have difficulty communicating verbally. The idea for this keyboard came from a small team of SwiftKey staff who have some experience with autism in their families, they came up with the idea to develop an assistive app that’s powered by SwiftKey’s core language prediction technology.
The idea is to provide an accessible and free app to individuals with talking and learning difficulties to make it easer for them to communicate with friends and family.
Individuals who use SwiftKey Symbols can build a sentence by using images, hand-drawn by a SwiftKey team member, from a prediction slider that’s powered by SwiftKey or a set of categories. It uses input and predictive technology to surface images relevant to users.
SwiftKey Symbols also takes into account the time of day and day of the week so that symbol predictions can be as personalized and accurate as possible. It’s customizable as well so users can add their own images and categories from their device, there’s an audio playback feature which can read out the sentence formed.
The new keyboard follows the company’s ongoing work with Professor Stephen Hawking and start-up Click2Speak which use SwiftKey’s core technology to make it easier for people with mobility issues to communicate.
SwiftKey Symbols is available for Android only right now, it can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store.