An assistive writing tool that helps children with learning disabilities learn how to write.

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Statistically, every classroom is likely to have at least one student with a learning disability. Low confidence and dependence on constant personal guidance create hurdles for these students as well as the teachers when they are learning how to write. Children with these challenges often hold the pen too hard or too loose, which not only makes it harder for them to write correctly, but can ultimately lead to muscular injuries by straining them. Explaining how much pressure or force is needed can be equally challenging. Pressure is an invisible force and is an abstract concept for most children to understand.

GripHint is an intelligent assistive writing tool for people with learning disabilities, dysgraphia and sensory integration problems. The product has embedded sensors that provides haptic feedback, alerting the child and teacher when the are holding the pen inappropriately. The haptic feedback allows the teacher to guide the child more easily on what they are doing and for the child to understand how to learn to write correctly. The integrated sensors detect how much force is applied while using the tool and then reciprocates it visually and through tactile feedback. The result is an immediate, nuanced understanding of the skill that students can internalise, leading them to develop greater confidence and faster writing skills.

This project is a collaboration and an investigation of the initial project done by Shu-Yang Lin, Co-Founder of GripHint, at the CIID Nest, a start-up incubator at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. My role involved: Product Design, Concept Development, Strategy and Branding, User Testing, Simple Electronics Arduino and Circuits for prototyping, 3d printing, Web Design.


This product was an exploration into soft circuits, e-textiles, and Arduino. It was handcrafted using conductive materials and fabrics that were sewed together. Within the toy lies a micro controller that detects pressure. The harder the child squeezes the sooner the alert is sent from the toy to the mother's phone.


GripHint is an ongoing project and was chosen in the top 5 finalists of best start-ups in Denmark by Creative Business Cup, was a finalist in the Core77 awards and shortlisted for IXDA'15.

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During the project, I also took part in setting up the CIIDNest programme, a start-up incubator for new people-centred design ideas hosted by the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. GripHint was chosen for the pilot phase hence allowing us to mould the programme for future designers interested in learning about start-up cultures, business and product development. This incubator was held in Copenhagen with support from Accelerace, a Denmark-based, internationally focused business development organization. Our role was to take part in the programme, guide and build the programme for future start-ups.

“The Nest is a design driven entrepreneurship platform. It has enabled us as designers to learn and use existing business models to then innovate around current existing systems by always putting the people first.” - GripHint Team

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Team: Shu Yang Lin

Advisors: CIID Nest, Alumni