Newbridge entrepreneur seeks participants in research on new app to help toddlers' speech

Talk2memore launched

Niamh O'Donoghue

Reporter:

Niamh O'Donoghue

Email:

niamh.odonoghue@leinsterleader.ie

Newbridge entrepreneur seeks participants in research on new app to help toddlers' speech

Oisin Hurley

Thirty-four-year-old Newbridge native Oisín Hurley has developed an exciting new app aimed at helping parents improve their toddlers’ speaking skills.

The former PBS student and his team — speech and language therapist, Suzanne Kirwan and app developer, Paddy Byrne — are looking for participants in an exciting pilot study.

Last April, the app was awarded a place on the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Academy Programme and the project also made it to the next stage of the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) programme.

“My parents Siobhan and Donal Hurley have been local business owners for 25 years running An Chistin restaurant on George's Street. It’s where I got my entrepreneurial spirit from,” said Oisín.

“As a family we launched the evening restaurant Bistro Nua together. Unfortunately this didn’t prove the success we had hoped for, but the lessons taken have been instrumental to inspiring Talk2MeMore.”

Having graduated from DIT in software engineering, Oisín spent five years in Melbourne before returning home, where he graduated from Smurfit Business School UCD with a Masters in Digital Innovation.

He said the pilot study attempts to learn more about the disparity of language across professional, middle income, and welfare families to identify if the scale of difference is consistent in Ireland compared to other studies. The app monitors the amount of words and the types of language a child is exposed to within the home.

Based on the recorded interactions, it provides activities, tips, and tailored book recommendations to ensure the children receive the recommended exposure to words and language.

“We are looking for parents of children between the age of 0 to 3 to participate in a nationwide study ran by the National College of Ireland. The study has been provided ethical approval and expected to launch early November,” said the Newbridge man.