Handwriting difficulties affect up to 25% of 5-12 year olds and can have a significant impact on their schooling and daily life (loss of self-confidence, difficulty concentrating, fatigue). Detecting these difficulties as early as possible allows for quicker treatment and a shorter period of remediation, which significantly limits the impact of these difficulties in the long term.
Today, children with the most significant difficulties are generally identified early on, but some slip through the cracks because their difficulties are less visible. However, these difficulties can have a significant impact on their schooling in the long run. Using a tablet allows the acquisition of thousands of data imperceptible to the naked eye. Unlike paper, the use of the iPad and the Apple pencil makes it possible to obtain extremely rich information (pressure, speed, acceleration, pen tilt, tremor, etc.) and in very large quantities (about 400 times per second). Research shows that this data is fundamental and more important than static aspects, such as the shape of letters for example.
Developed at the CHILI laboratory at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Dynamilis is an application born from 5 years of research aiming to help 5-12 year olds improve their handwriting. This iPad application was developed in close collaboration with handwriting specialists from France and Switzerland. Dynamilis is composed of two parts allowing each child to progress at his/her own pace in a personalized and fun way:
A handwriting analysis tool: The analysis tool allows you to establish the handwriting profile of each child. All the child has to do is copy a text for a few moments (30 seconds) for the application to analyze the thousands of data extracted from the writing in order to give a series of scores qualifying his/her writing. These scores are calculated by comparing the child's handwriting to those of thousands of other children of the same age and sex. They give the strengths and weaknesses and indicate if the child has difficulties requiring treatment by a specialist (psychomotor therapist, occupational therapist, graphotherapist...).
Training activities: Dynamilis proposes playful activities, allowing the children to practice their writing skills. These activities target specific aspects of writing such as pressure control, pen lifts, precision of the line or digital motor skills. The goal of the activities is to complement those proposed by the teacher by trying to enrich the child's learning with the best that the digital tablets can offer. For example, the child will have to draw the path that a hot air balloon must follow, guide a submarine using the pressure of the stylus, help a chemist to create potions by writing, or teach writing to a robot with problems. All activities have been co-created and validated by renowned writing specialists and are used by thousands of children. Dynamilis currently offers 10 different activities. These activities are recommended to the child in function of the results of the analysis.
Dynamilis is currently available in Switzerland, France and Italy. The next goal is to make the app available in more countries and languages fast to improve the number of children using the app. In order to do that, we need to collect more data, adapt Dynamilis to local specificities and make people know about the app.
Persons involved in the project
Last update to this project presentation 04.11.2022