Gaming to help children on the autistic spectrum
Click the Clam Limited
Media Release for Immediate Use - 27 September 2008
Gaming to help children on the autistic spectrum recognise emotions.
Entrepreneurs Dr Yvette Ahmad and Fraser Hurrell earn runner-up honours in New Zealand’s premier business creation competition.
The Northland venture is using immersive computer gaming principles to achieve psychological goals in a process they have dubbed “psytainment”.
Their prototype product – Click the Clam – is designed to help children on the autistic spectrum to recognise emotions from facial expressions, and has earned them $10,000 in start-up capital in the 2008 final of the Spark Entrepreneurship Challenge.
Now in its sixth year, the $40k Challenge is Spark's most prestigious competition. The black tie celebration was held at Auckland’s Old Government House on Friday evening.
Dr Yvette Ahmad is a Clinical Psychologist and co-director of The Starfish Clinic in Whangarei and Auckland. Fraser Hurrell is a Chartered Accountant with a strong interest in the process of bringing great ideas to fruition.
Mr Hurrell says “The psytainment industry is new and exciting – and as knowledge exporters, there is no reason why New Zealand shouldn’t lead the way in this new space”.
“We have great ideas for future products”, says Dr Ahmad. “By delivering therapy wrapped in action gaming that kids actually want to play, we aim to bring the therapist’s couch into the living room”.
The worldwide launch of Click the Clam is planned for January 2009.
Spark Chief Executive Duane Fernandes says "The successes of previous Spark winners, such as INRO Technologies and PowerbyProxi, also winners at the recent Gen-i Incubators Awards, provide encouragement that fostering the entrepreneurial mindset has a positive flow-on effect into the business community and New Zealand economy."