Smurks Launches Mobile App to Help Anyone, Including Children with Autism, Express Emotions

May 19, 2011

3:30 pm

Chicago-based Iconicast has launched Smurks, a new app to help anyone, including children with autism, accurately express their emotions online.  Available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, users can easily communicate their feelings via digital communications.

It’s a very clever app, actually: it allows you to morph a face into an exact expression of what you are feeling – literally!  You just drag your fingers over an emoticon til it shares your expression.  Then you can share it via text, email, Facebook, and Twitter, adding a new emotional language to those channels. No wonder the autism community has embraced it, as it can help children on the autistic spectrum better recognize and communicate their emotions.

Dr. Phillip Epstein, a Chicago neuroscientist who has begun using Smurks in his clinical practice, said, “Smurks gives children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) the opportunity to expand their repertoire of emotions, and I think it has enormous potential and usefulness as a tool for clinical research, diagnostics and therapeutics in this area.”

Smurks founder Pat Byrnes, a celebrated writer and cartoonist at The New Yorker, created the app to bridge the “emotional disconnectedness many people feel as an ironic result of today’s digital connectedness.”  An Android app will be available later this year.

Watch the video here.

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Monika Jansen is a writer and editor who is happiest pounding out blog posts, newsletters, website content, and other materials. Follow her at: @monikacjansen

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