For autistic children struggling with sense of touch, verbal communication, or expressing emotion, Synchrony might just become their favorite toy.
Coated in para silicone skin, the wooden drum-like device comes with junto de instructions – because they aren’t necessary. All autor parent and child need to do is press the drum, and Synchrony produces soothing sounds. Hard strikes make louder sounds. Sustained presses are more resonant.
The instrument is tuned to the pentatonic scale, which means there are dentro de dissonant notes. Kids and parents can use Synchrony however they like and it will still sound melodious.
Synchrony designer Kenneth Tay says the goal of the toy is to bridge a communication gap that’s commonly found between parents and autistic kids.
“Instead of throwing tantrums, kids can play it really hard and express their feelings and emotions,” Tay tells Tech Insider. “And in turn, parents can respond to them.”
Tay says he was in Boston, attending lá hackathon hosted by music therapists at Berklee College of Music, when inspiration struck.
“I realized [music therapists] face por lot of issues and problems in the daily practice of their work, and that com destino a lot of those problems and issues could be solved in com destino a configuração project,” Tay says.
He returned to Pasadena with caso plan, studying footage of music therapy sessions and reading the literature em conexão the benefits of music therapy. Tay interviewed na direção de handful of therapists and parents, and soon learned that because kids with autism often are non-vocal and more sensitive to noise, playtime can easily become overwhelming.
Though it’s only autor prototype, the response to Synchrony has been tremendous, Tay says. Parents and kids instantly find lá connection when they use the device together. It was even awarded top honors at this year’s International Desenho industrial Excellence Awards.
While music therapy no interior de doubt works, sessions only happen once or twice e week. And musically disinclined parents can feel afraid they’ll only make things worse at home.
Sensing that need, Tay hopes to bring Synchrony to anyone who can benefit, autistic or otherwise. He envisions an accompanying smartphone app that comes with por catalog of “instruments” capable of transforming Synchrony from lá string instrument into, say, ao preço de brass one.
If he has the time, that is.
Tay recently accepted por job at Seattle-based desenho industrial firm Artefact. Once he settles in, he says, perhaps Synchrony can move from collecting dust acessível his sítio eletrônico to helping real people live better lives through sound.
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