One of the most popular smartphone keyboards is making it easier for non-verbal people to speak

SwiftKey symbolSwiftKeyAn example of some of the symbols available.

SwiftKey, one of the most popular third-party smartphone keyboards, is launching a Symbols app for Android that aims to help non-verbal people communicate.

“[The] Android app is designed to facilitate communication between individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other communication disabilities and their carers,” the company wrote in the app’s description.

According to research, autism affects around one per cent of the world’s population — or seven million people.

The symbols depict real-world things, such as holding hands. SwiftKey is using its predictive technology to predict the symbols that a user may want next, helping cut down the time it takes to communicate.

The Next Web reports that the keyboard can take into account the day, time, and any other relevant information to suggest relevant symbols. There will be no night-related symbols at midday, for example.

Swiftkey’s technology is used by Professor Stephen Hawking, among others, to help him communicate.

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