Paugme: A Fun Way To Teach Nonverbal Communication Skills to Those with Autism
Paugme: A Fun Way To Teach Nonverbal Communication Skills to Those with Autism

We love creating new and exciting applications that focus on educational subjects. We've created Augmented Reality focused applications before, such as our Mantaray AR: Intro to Probability mobile app, as well as our Unlimited platform. With Paugme, we aim to use our skills in mobile application development and Augmented Reality knowledge in order to help children with autism learn how to recognize and categorize emotions, as well as learn appropriate reactions to those emotions.

Paugme is a mobile application for Android and iOS that helps those with autism learn nonverbal communication skills. The app is geared towards helping those in elementary to middle school, and provides a fun and interactive experience to those playing.

Our application has two main focuses: to teach how to recognize and categorize emotions, and to teach how to react to those emotions. This is accomplished by using tools previously used and tested in autism games and learning exercises. The gameplay focuses on reinforcing correct responses, and slowly increasing the difficulty of the questions over time.

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Autism is a growing problem in the United States and globally as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "about 1 in 68 children [have] been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)." Children with mid to high level functioning autism are being put into regular classrooms and are expected to socialize and empathize normally with other students. Our application is there to help students learn about different emotions, what they mean, how to recognize them, and most importantly, how to react to those emotions.

While our focus is helping those with mid to high level functioning autism, we hope to create an end product that is usable by everyone: from low to high functioning autism as well as those without it. Learning how to identify emotions and respond to them is a general skill that many can benefit from.

Paugme is a mash of the words "pal" and "augmented reality." We hope that our previous research that shows higher engagement and higher learning gains using Augmented Reality will carry over to help people with ASD. By using Augmented Reality, we are able to create an immersive experience that users really feel that they are interacting with. The Augmented Reality used in this application is toggleable, so that if you don't have the tracking targets, you can still play Paugme!

  • A gamified teaching tool.  Paugme is made to be engaging and helpful!
  • Learn how to read faces and the emotions that are tied to them.  Explore different faces ranging from sad, to embarrassed, to happy.

  • The 6 Universal Emotions each have 10 subcategories.  An end goal of 60 unique emotions that will be represented by faces are planned.

  • The gameplay is based around matching and exploring different emotions and actions.  The game guides users through and "Paugme" will react based on the user's actions -- almost like a point and click adventure.

  • The game will increase the difficulty of the faces according to how well the user can identify them. At the beginning, users will determine emotions by being presenting with very distinct emotions from different categories.  As the difficulty increases, the correct emotion will have to be chosen from within the same subcategory.

  • Lower difficulties start by just having users match "Paugme"'s face with multiple choices.  As the difficulty increases, the names of the different emotions will be presented alongside the faces. At the highest difficulties, only the name of the emotion will be presented.

  • After the user learns some emotions and faces, the next step is to teach social actions and reactions.  This is done in a very similar way to how emotions and faces are taught.   The difficulty will increase as the user improves.
  • The difficulty is determined by our special analytics that track response times, accuracy of responses, and frequency of play.  With just the app, users and their parents can track their progress.

  • With our online subscription service, parents or teachers can sign up for emails concerning their child's progress, email and text message reminders, and more!

  • With our online subscription service day, weekly, monthly, and even yearly progress can be visualized.  Our algorithm can even highlight areas that your child has problems with!

  • Points, badges, and ribbons are awarded by the app to give the user a sense of progress and accomplishment!  Different badges are awarded for different positive outcomes, such as getting 3 matches in a row, mastering an emotion, and more!

  • Customization is a major issue when it comes to apps for children with autism.  Our app will allow you to toggle animations, sounds, awards on/off.

The standalone application comes with built in parental features to help customize the app to suite their child's needs.  Our app will allow you to toggle animations, sounds, awards on/off.

With the standalone app, analytics are recorded concerning the user's response times, accuracy, and frequency of play.  These analytics are displayed so that the child and the child's parents can discuss them.

For even more parental features, our online subscription service allows parents to sync their child's game results with an online tool.  Parents or teachers can log in at any time and get access to the following:

  • Progress email alerts daily, weekly, or monthly.

  • Email or text message reminders for daily or weekly times.

  • Access day, month, and yearly graphs concerning progress.

  • View what areas their child is excelling or having trouble in.

  • Get our newsletter about tips and discussions concerning Paugme.

The Paugme team is a small group of devoted developers that love creating new and exciting projects.  We have successfully created various Augmented Reality based software before and we want to continue down that path.  Unfortunately, that means we need some sort of capital in order to buy the software and testing hardware.  We have a team of incredible engineers ready to built mobile and web applications as well as a designer ready to create Paugme.



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