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Communication Devices - pros and cons?

Discussion in 'Parenting & Autism Discussions' started by Tamsin Nadia, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. Tamsin Nadia

    Tamsin Nadia New Member

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    Hello!
    I am an occupational therapy student looking at designing a smart watch as a routine and communication device. I was wondering if you think this would be beneficial? Do you find that tablets can be too large, get dropped or left behind? If you have any feedback please let me know!
    Tamsin
     
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  2. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    i’d like a guarantee that I would get a percentage of the profits if this device was eventually sold on the open market, I don’t want non-autistic people to get the idea that they can just take and not give anything back to autistic people , where would it be made where would the components be made For me personally no !because I know it would have to be hand operated or voice or eye operated.
     
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  3. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Well, you're asking for feedback, but the question is, just how much are you looking to do with this device? "Communication and routine" could mean anything. Can you give some more detail on what you intend to achieve?

    I will tell you this right now though: You'd be going up against absurdly brutal competition, trying to make something like that. There's Apple, with their funky smartwatch thing, for instance. That device is backed up by a giant corporation, AND the fact that it combines with iPhones, one of the most common products out there. There's no competing with that, not without another giant megacorp behind you.

    On the other hand, for stuff that's a bit more simple, there's already things like Fitbit. They can track all sorts of health-related stuff and perform other support tasks. They obviously wont have the sheer versatility of Apple's device since they're not attached to a phone, though they likely cost a heck of alot less.

    That's what you'd be up against. But there's another element, which is practicality. From what I understand, alot of people that do already have a "smartwatch" device, dont really interact with it all that much or use many of it's different functions. Likely this is because the things are simply too small... interacting with those microscopic touchscreens has gotta be infuriating. If you REALLY wanted your idea to get somewhere, you'd have to come up with something that makes it easier to use than what is already out there. Heck, alot of users have enough trouble getting their phones to do anything complicated (not like anyone reads manuals or watches tutorials, feh).

    But you'd also be up against smartphones in any case. Those crazy gizmos seem to do basically everything and everyone already has one.
     
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  4. Tamsin Nadia

    Tamsin Nadia New Member

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    Thank you for your reply!

    The idea is that this watch would be specifically for people with non-verbal autism who usually use ACC apps to communicate. The watch would have 2 main functions; to show the individual the current activity and notify for upcoming transitions from activities or places. The other feature would be a communication option where the preferred ACC app can be connected making communication more convenient whilst out and about.

    Thank you


     
  5. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Aha.... that's much more specific. Definitely changes things a bit. The original description kinda made it sound like a normal device, but it seems like we're absolutely not talking about any old average smartwatch here. More of a... focused device. Interesting. Not a device meant to compete with already existing ones, then. Of the issues I mentioned earlier then, the one about size and ease of use for complicated interactions is the one that remains relevant.

    You know, there is one other autism-specific problem that comes to mind: sensory issues. I imagine that some would have issues with the sensations produced by wearing something on their wrist, if not already used to it. So that might be something to consider. I tell ya, it's a very frustrating element of the whole "being on the spectrum" thing. I go through that one myself alot. Hate it. There's probably some creative solution to make the thing less "sensory intensive" to wear, heck if I know what it'd be though. But yeah, that might be a bit of a hurdle. That'd be the big advantage that something like a phone has over a watch, for us. I had mentioned the size issue, but this part may be more important in this case.

    Also to address something you said in your original post: Yes indeed, tablets are too bloody huge. Have one myself. Dont get me wrong, it's useful (when it's not being slow and weird... it's an Apple device, you see...) but it sure is unwieldy. Blocky and heavy, that thing. Hard to take anywhere.
     
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  6. zurb

    zurb Eschewer of Obfuscation

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    Why not just write an app for existing smart watches rather than designing a dedicated device? Given that there are already a number of apps that do this, I’d think it won’t be long before someone ports it anyway.