How often do you let your child play games on your smartphone? Probably quite often. Some might say that they even already bought their child an iPhone or some form of tablet. Well, forget the games that you’re letting your child play – Flappy Bird, Angry Bird, and all sorts of birds out there – in South Korea, they have an app that’s being developed by speech-language pathologists to help improve children’s language skills.
A child’s development stage, when they’re picking up so much information every day, is one of the most crucial parts of growing up. A lot of it depends on a parent’s dedication to chatting them up, or exposing them to other children for play time. However, in the US alone, 1.3 million children have trouble with language. This is where South Korea comes in.
Their app, using the system TalkBetter, is under development, with a team of computer scientists and speech-language pathologists backing it. How it works is that it will listen in on the flow of conversation between a parent and a child, and then guide the parent towards interactions that will help their child improve.
The app will also utilize Bluetooth microphones and earpieces for the mother and just the microphone for the child. This is meant to guide the parent in case the software detects that they are speaking too quickly, doesn’t give enough time for the child to respond, or ignores speech that might just be mumbles, but might be the child trying to communicate. The software then gives them notice of this via the earpiece.
Parents that were part of the initial alpha and beta testing quickly responded with interest to purchase the system. For us here in the US, it will also be showcased in Baltimore, Maryland later this month in a computer conference.
While clinical trials are still underway, the researchers behind TalkBetter are very confident that this might just revolutionize how parents teach their children to communicate better, and there is much potential in this sort of technology in other uses as well.
Well, we’ll just have to see if this product will be hitting the stores any time soon, but as for now, we’re going to have to stick with communicating unassisted with our kids. Keep your fingers crossed, though! The technology age we’re now in is bringing in so many wonders every year!