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July 3, 2011

Fujitsu, Kagawa Univ begin research on smartphone apps for children with special needs

To leverage ability of smartphones to be operated intuitively

By CBR Staff Writer

Information and communication technology (ICT) based business offerings provider Fujitsu and Kagawa University have started a joint research into how smartphones can provide lifestyle and educational support to children with special needs and their guardians.

The research aims to leverage the ability of smartphones to be intuitively operated. Fujitsu said that their effort aims to raise the quality of life for children requiring special assistance.

In addition, Fujitsu is developing emotional expression support software for children who have difficulty expressing their emotions.

The study will include children with developmental disabilities (such as learning disabilities and autism) and intellectual disabilities who are enrolled in elementary, middle, or special-needs schools, as well as their guardians, caretakers, teachers, and supporters.

As a part of the project, software developed by the engineers of Fujitsu would be loaded in smartphones and provided to teachers, caretakers, and guardians for some months.

The research team will then examine and analyse the software’s effectiveness based on observations of its use by the children, as well as through surveys and interviews.

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The project, which started on 1 July 2011 is scheduled to be over by 31 March 2012.

Fujitsu said that in the future it will continue to pursue research on how ICT can assist children with special needs.

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