NameUniversità "Mediterranea" di Reggio Calabria (Laboratorio accademico di coworking "Barbiana 2.0")


TitleSmile4DYS: an app for supporting dyslexic kids and teens in their learning activities
Project id.76
Reference sectorICT
IP Protection LevelNo patent as yet
Description of the innovation projectDyslexia is a disorder belonging to the category of Specific Learning Disorders. Its main manifestation consists in the difficulty of dyslexic subjects to read quickly and correctly, and to process and understand what they read. Smile4DYS is an app developed by means of the User Experience Design (UXD) technique and with the support of an expert of the application of UXD for dyslexic people. It aims at helping dyslexic kids and teens to learn by playing. The learning process underlying Smile4DYS is based on the “island of treasure” metaphor. The island has six “points of interest”, each associated with a different game level. The “treasure seeker” is a character of fantasy called “Dyxi”. When all the six levels have been successfully faced, the seeker reaches the treasure. Smile for DYS stores the history of the player in such a way that she/he cannot play the game of a level before successfully winning all the games of the previous levels.
State of dev.Prototype
Industrial applicationApp for learning, app for playing, app for curing learning disorders
Market segmentDyslexia is a common disorder, as confirmed by recent analyses. It is estimated that about 10% of kids/teens is dyslexic. Therefore, the potential market dimension of Smile4DYX is really massive. Indeed, it consists of hundreds of thousands of potential users in Italy and hundreds of millions of potential users in the world. Smile4DYS could be sold, through the classical app stores, at very low prices (for instance, 2 euros or 2 US dollars) and, in any case, it would generate huge gains. In fact, the costs for realizing our app are limited. They mainly regard the app customization for the different languages (in fact, it is not sufficient a simple translation; all games present in the app should be modified for each language since hyphenation is a key element in games for dyslexic people). Other costs would regard the system development and the rent of cloud space to host the server component of Smile4DYS.
Advantage factorThe main advantage factor of Smile4SYS regards the fact that this app was designed and realized by applying the User Experience Design (UXD) technique and with the support of an expert of the application of UXD to dyslexic people. Interestingly, this expert is dyslexic too. Thanks to the adoption of UXD, most of the games available in Smile4SYS were tested, modified and, even, suggested by dyslexic kids and teens.
Commercial challengeIn the market there are various software systems to support dyslexic kids and teens in their learning activities. Some of them also provide a version for mobile devices. However, Smile4DYS represents an absolute novelty since: 1) it was designed and realized by means of the UXD technique and with the support of an expert of the application of UXD technique to dyslexic people, who is dyslexic herself; 2) it does not provide a unique game (as it generally happens for existing competing systems); by contrast, it provides a wide range of games, organized in levels; 3) it is a real gaming platform for dyslexic kids and teens, since it stores information about all users and their past history in accessing it. Furthermore, it allows a user to access the games of a given level if and only if she/he has successfully terminated all the games of the previous levels. All these features are not simultaneously present in any of the apps for dyslexic people currently in circulation.
Publications and Customer ReferecesSome statistics about the diffusion of dyslexia among people can be found in the following web site: