Speech recognition game, Sayin’ It Sam™, fills app niche for kids with autism and language difficulties
Single mom in Silicon Valley starts business in a daunting tech landscape to create fun-to-play apps for kids with language-learning disabilities
San Francisco (January 1, 2018) — Nea Hanscomb, CEO of Appropo Software and mother to a son with severe autism, launched her company’s first game last night designed to help kids with autism practice their speech.
Sayin’ It Sam™ is an animated game that uses speech recognition technology to motivate children to use their voices. Ms. Hanscomb began her journey four years ago when she couldn’t find games on the iPad (a device adored by her son) that would encourage him to use his voice.
“I searched everywhere,” said Nea. “There were no games for my son like the one I envisioned.” She soon found out why; speech recognition software simply wasn’t supporting the application of the technology she needed.
This was hard for Ms. Hanscomb to accept. In an age where Siri and OK Google and Alexa were taking grocery orders from overworked parents, why wasn’t there an app that would engage in simple language interaction with kids like her son?
After a challenging four-year journey in which the word “no” was never a part of her lexicon, Nea succeeded in filling an important need by creating a fun and visually appealing game, and overcame numerous hurdles inherent in current speech recognition technology.
As a sole proprietor and single mother, Nea managed the entire development of Sayin’ It Sam™ including:
• Research and collaboration with numerous professionals
• Product management and supervision
• Advertising, PR, social media and conference presentations
• Vendor communications and direction
• Audio and graphics production
• Funding, grant proposals
• Legal requirements
About Nea Hanscomb
Nea has more than 35 years’ experience as a graphic designer and fine artist with a BA in Communications/Visual Arts from UCSD, and a 2 year certificate in Multimedia Studies from San Francisco State. Her son Palmer is now 17 years-old and is a handsome young man with severe autism. Palmer is Nea’s inspiration for producing Sayin’ It Sam.
Ms. Hanscomb is indebted to many friends and business associates, both within the autism community and elsewhere. “I couldn’t have done it without help from my engineers, content strategist, therapists and parents,” she said.
Now that Apple’s Siri is available to third party developers, Nea plans on taking Sayin’ It Sam™ to the next level in 2018.
Nea Hanscomb, Founder & CEO
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