With just hours left for Apple’s annual WWDC developer conference to start in San Jose, CEO Tim Cook tweeted a video highlighting the 350-odd students, who are getting scholarships this year to attend WWDC. “Nothing inspires us more than fresh ideas,” Cook said in the tweet. The video featuring student developers starts with Aashna Narula, an MSc Computer Science student from Delhi University who is working on an app called Let’s Shapify aimed at pre-school children.
Narula says she did a lot of research before coming up with the concept of the app. “Initially, I incorporated the idea of matching all the shapes on the screen with the correct shape. Soon I realised why not include both the things, shape and colour. So, I incorporated the idea of colours as well,” says Narula about her app that helps enhance a child’s observational and categorisational skills.
“While matching the shapes, one has to also keep a close check on the color of the shape. Also, the child is expected to clear all the levels within the given time constraint,” she explains, adding that her 5-year-old nephew Kartik was the inspiration for the app. “Like many other kids, Kartik suffers from a problem of not able to differentiate between same and different,” she adds.
“Then, I wondered why most childhood programs teach kids colours and shapes early in the year? Why not letters and numbers? Why not dogs and cats?” Narula was soon talking to pre-school teachers and learnt that this was because colour and shape are the two very noticeable attributes of the world around us.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) June 4, 2018
“Colour and shape are the ways kids observe and categorise what they see. When a child explores different shapes, he/she is using one of the most basic educational processes: the observation of same and different. And children nowadays rely on technology for the majority of their play,” she says about her inspiration to develop an environment that would not only prove to be a fun time for kids, but would also help them develop their problem solving skills.
The app was developed using Apple’s Swift coding language. Apple’s annual WWDC conference starts in San Jose on June 4.
Disclaimer: The writer is in San Jose, California, attending WWDC on the invite of Apple India.