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Samsung’s new app translates emoji into simple phrases to help people with speech disorders

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Samsung Italia

Samsung Italia, the Korean company’s Italy-based team, thinks emoji can help people with aphasia communicate. The neurological disorder affects the language part of people’s brains so they often have difficulty speaking, reading, and writing. It doesn’t affect cognition.

That’s why Samsung made an app called Wemogee, which allows people with aphasia to communicate with others through emoji. Users can select from a list of emoji phrases, and those on the receiving end of a message will see a response in text. Like this:

Image: Samsung Italia

The app contains more than 140 phrases that cover day-to-day activities. Users can ask, “what would you like to eat,” for example, or convey their mood. The emoji in the app aren’t Samsung’s default ones, they’re simplified and bigger. Samsung says more than 200,000 people in Italy have aphasia while the National Aphasia Association says more than 2 million Americans are affected.

As much as emoji get hate for getting rid of language nuance, the application in this case seems like a smart idea. Images are easier to select given the simple phrases, and they convey clear messages. The Wemogee app is free to download through the Google Play Store. It’s coming soon to iOS.