Frequently Asked Questions
What is Floreo?
Floreo is a learning app that uses virtual reality as a method to teach social and communication skills to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Our lessons (based on established, science-backed techniques) are designed to be a supplementary learning tool for families, therapy practices, medical practitioners, and educators.
Why are we doing this?
Our goal is to help improve the quality of life of individuals with ASD by providing a science-backed tool to help grow social and communication skills.
How does Floreo work?
Floreo has developed a shared experience that uses mobile VR on iOS to deliver lessons to the Learner (an individual with ASD) while a Coach (a supervising adult) follows along on a separate iOS device and guides the Learner’s progress on a separate device.
- The Coach pairs the phone and tablet devices through the Floreo app.
- Once the devices are paired, the Coach places the phone in the VR headset and puts the headset on the Learner.
- The Coach directs the entire experience — selecting a lesson, starting a lesson, providing guidance and reward language throughout the lesson. The Learner is not required to do anything except experience the lesson.
- The Learner’s view is streamed in real time to the Coach device (iPad). The green bars on the real time view represent the Learner’s field of view.
Watch this video to learn more about Floreo and how it works.
Where can I download/buy Floreo?
How much does Floreo cost?
Floreo is currently available in the iOS app store for $49.99/month (plus any applicable taxes). This subscription includes unlimited access to all of our lessons.
If you represent an organization that would like to use Floreo for multiple users, please contact us to discuss your options: firstname.lastname@example.org
What equipment do I need to make the Floreo work?
To make sure the Floreo app works correctly, you’ll need the following:
- Phone (Learner device) – iPhone 7 or 7 Plus or above
- Tablet (Coach device) – iPad (2015 or newer)
- Operating System – iOS 11.2 or above
- VR Headset – any Google Cardboard compatible headset that fits your phone, with IPD adjustment. Floreo is currently using this affordable headset for our pilot testing.
- WiFi connection – use a private WiFi or MiFi that allows peer to peer connections, e.g. home, office, and/or external personal hotspot. Unfortunately, publicly available WiFi connections, such as those offered by coffee shops, hotels, etc. will block the connection between the iPhone and iPad, making the app unusable.
Is Floreo available for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Playstation VR or other high-end VR consoles?
At the moment, Floreo is only available for mobile VR on iOS. However, as we continue to grow, we expect to expand to other platforms and devices. Sign up to get notified about our progress here: https://floreotech.com/floreo-newsletter
Is Floreo available on Android?
At the moment, Floreo is only available on iOS. However, as we continue to grow, we expect to expand to other operating systems. Sign up to be notified when we launch on Android https://floreotech.com/floreo-newsletter
Can I use another device such as a PC monitor, laptop monitor, TV, etc. instead of a tablet as the Monitor device?
At the moment, Floreo can only be used with an iPad as the Coach’s device. However, the iPad can be simultaneously projected to a TV using an HDMI cable or via AirPlay to an Apple TV. As we continue to grow, we plan to expand the types of devices that can be used as a Coach device. Sign up to be notified about our progress: https://floreotech.com/floreo-newsletter
What type of content are you developing?
Floreo is developing content based on proven techniques for building social connections, managing planned and unplanned events, and responding to sensory overload:
- Social Connections – Lessons to develop skills for better social reciprocity and engagement by practicing discrete skills. Examples of these may include:
- Early Social Connections: joint attention, look at eyes for information, recognizing facial expressions, etc.
- Building Social Reciprocity: gaining attention, asking different questions, greetings, etc.
- Building Related Pragmatic Intentions: making choices, protesting, communication, acceptance, problem solving, etc.
- Teaching Stories – interactive stories that teach users how to manage planned and unplanned scenarios in a way that is fun and effective. Examples of these may include:
- Managing Unplanned Scenarios: encountering police, fire alarms, etc.
- Managing Planned Scenarios: crossing the street, shopping at a grocery store, Halloween, reading a map, etc.
- Sensory Tools – calming and engaging environments to help users who may feel stress or experience sensory overload. Examples of these may include:
- Playing the xylophone, mindfulness breathing while watching a train, playing fetch with a dog, popping bubbles, painting, etc.
Who is developing your content?
In our commitment to developing a science-backed product, we have hired experts in the field of ASD to lead the development of our content:
- Director of Therapy Content, Rita Solorzano, MA, CCC-SLP, is a licensed speech language pathologist with over 20 years of experience working with children with special needs, including autism
- Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sinan Turnacioglu, MD, is a board-certified neurodevelopmental pediatrician and former director of the Fragile X Clinic at Children’s National Health System in Washington, DC
- Joe McCleery, Assistant Professor of Psychology & Executive Director of Academic Programs in the Kinney Center, Saint Joseph’s University
- Nigel Newbutt, Senior Lecturer/Senior Researcher in Digital Education, University of the West of England
We have also developed pilot partnerships to test our learning tool and content with:
- Celebrate the Children – Special education school in New Jersey using DIR curriculum (learn more)
- Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – Leading autism research institution based in Philadelphia. (learn more)
- Centria Healthcare Autism Services – One of the largest autism therapy providers in the U.S. (learn more)
- KIPP DC – A network of high-performing, college-preparatory public schools in Washington, D.C. (learn more)
- The Children’s Spot – A speech, occupational and ABA therapy provider in Maryland (learn more)
Is Floreo an approved FDA product?
The FDA has not evaluated the safety or effectiveness of Floreo’s virtual reality app and content for use as therapy for ASD. Floreo is currently piloting its virtual reality app for use as a supplementary therapy tool for individuals with ASD.
Where is your company located?
We are located in Washington DC.
How are you funded?
Floreo recently raised $2.1M in a venture financing round. We also received an NIH STTR grant for $1.7M which we are with our research partners at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Is there a way to try Floreo for free?
Yes! You can download Floreo and try out some of our lessons before you subscribe. Make sure you have all of the necessary equipment ready too!
Who is Floreo for?
Floreo is designed for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as their respective support network (e.g. families, therapists, special educators, etc.)
Why are you focused on individuals with ASD?
It’s estimated that more than 1.5 million children in the U.S. are affected by ASD. However, finding accessible and affordable autism learning tools can be challenging despite more than $16 billion spent in the U.S. on overall autism services. To that end, Floreo is working with schools, researchers, therapy practices, and autism specialists to develop a science-backed and affordable virtual reality tool and content platform that can help individuals with ASD develop the real world skills they’ll need to live independent and productive lives.
Is Floreo just for people with ASD?
No. Floreo is committed to develop learning tools for any individual that needs assistance developing their social and communication skills. Some of our trial partners have already utilized Floreo with individuals with ADHD and ED
Does a user have to have verbal skills to use Floreo?
No. Floreo is committed to developing learning tools that work across verbal, minimally verbal and non-verbal people. Floreo is already piloting our content with minimally verbal children.
Is there an age requirement to use Floreo?
Floreo is intended for use with children ages 7 and above. This guidance is based on current recommendations for Google Cardboard, View-Master and similar devices, as well as advice from experts in the field. In addition, consumers must also adhere to manufacturer recommendations for whichever headset they purchase.
Are there any health risks related to using Floreo?
Virtual reality is not recommended for people with certain pre-existing conditions such as a history of seizures or photosensitivity, eye movement impairments such as strabismus, migraines, or who may be prone to motion sickness. Some people who use virtual reality experience cybersickness, which is related to motion sickness and vertigo. Symptoms include general discomfort, headache, nausea, sweating, and fatigue. These symptoms generally dissipate a few minutes after removing the virtual reality headset.