SwiftKey this week launched a new Android App called SwiftKey Symbols, a visual symbol type of keyboard instead of the traditional QWERTY keyboard. The image keyboard is designed to help those with communication and learning difficulties such as non-verbal kids with autism communicate more effectively with family, friends and teachers. The app is currently in beta version on the SwiftKey Greenhouse page where users can test apps and provide feedback before the final version is launched.
This visual symbol app keyboard lets users construct sentences by picking out symbols according to categories or using the “prediction bar.” What makes the app really special for autistic kids and others with communication difficulties is the app “learns from each individual’s behavior to show relevant images;” therefore, each individual’s SwiftKey Symbols app will be unique. An additional function of the app is that it remembers what symbols have been used at what time of the day and day of the week in order to improve its prediction capability. Users can also add their own image symbols and categories.
SwiftKey was started by co-founders Jon Reynolds (CEO) and Dr. Ben Medlock (CTO) in 2008. The first SwiftKey keyboard app launched in London in 2010. The company has offices in London, San Francisco and Seoul as well as representatives in India and China.