Puzzle Piece Tablet- a work of heart part 2

734569_622140517875072_5397783405811998416_n (1)Autism Daily Newscast talked to Andrea McKean, co founder of PuzzlePiece a company producing tablets geared especially for the budget and needs of families with autism.

You can read part 1 of this interview here.

Tell me a little about Puzzle piece, when were you established, and what are your company goals.

Puzzle Pieces, Inc. was established in Feb. 2014. Our product Puzzle Piece was created and launched in April 2014. We had a goal of getting it launched by Autism Awareness month. As a company our goal is to really add value to families lives affected by autism. We have felt passionately that tablet makers have truly missed the market when delivering a service to families affected by autism.

With most tablets ranging from $100 and up, we felt this price point was not something most families could afford. Even if they could afford them, most families are worried that if their child breaks the tablet that they would not be able to afford another one. With them priced so affordably this concern is taken away. Our second goal was to make it easy and organized for families to find simple apps that they can use in their daily lives to help their child. So many of them are spending so much time and money fighting in school districts for their child and keeping up with their therapies (ABA, Speech, and OT) that they don’t have time to search and investigate apps for their child. Our goal was to make the process easier by delivering them in a format that easy for them to access and to familiarize themselves with the apps through the webinars I will be providing to teach them how to use the apps with their children.

The apps are “ad” free to reducing the requirement of the parent to have to unlock the games every time an ad pops up. This reduces time the parent has to spend and the frustrations on part of the child. Ultimately, as we grow and continue to make more apps our families would eventually be able to go in and choose the apps that apply to their child based on a number of different categories and needs. Lastly, our goal is to give back also in a big way. We are going to be coming out with a program in the next year to give away tablets and memberships for those who can not afford it.

Are there any plans in the pipeline for more products?

We are creating new apps everyday such as a Conversation photo album which integrates the built in cameras of the Puzzle Piece tablet which would allow a child or adult to take a picture of their day and add descriptions. This would allow families and friends to see their child’s day and talk about it with them. We are also going to be in the works of developing apps that could be utilized in the schools to connect with the children in the classrooms and ultimately crossover from home.

Also to come this summer is an AAC app called OneVoice. It is already in the iTunes store selling for $199. For Puzzle Piece members it will be included in their monthly membership. The reason I really like this AAC app is because of it’s simplicity and ability to customize to the user. It does not come with tons of picture or tabs that the user has to navigate through. Instead, it allows the user to customize the library to his or her needs.
Here are the features:

– 5 High Quality Voices (2 male and 3 female)
– Over 100 custom made icons
– Drag and drop organization of phrases and categories
– Choose and crop your own photos from the device photo gallery or your camera.
– Simple, focused application. Users won’t get lost in many levels of categories and be unable to find their way back.

http://onevoiceapp.com/

5. Where can our readers buy the product?

www.getpuzzlepiece.com or find on Facebook

6. What are your hopes for the future?

We really have huge hopes for the future of Puzzle Piece. We really want families to feel that this is “their” company too. Families have great feedback and our hope is to evolve and change based on their feedback and needs. Families are so passionate about helping their child thrive and their voice is so important in this journey.

 

The Puzzle Piece tablet will be available to purchase in the UK and Australia very soon.