FluentPet Connect - Now your Dog Can Send You a Text Message

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FluentPet HexTiles
Inside the Design

FluentPet’s HexTiles were designed to facilitate faster and more durable concept learning.
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Designed with Learning Science in Mind

Learning science remains unaware of exactly how it’s possible to remember where things are in the world. Even if we were aware, there are significant differences from individual to individual in how we learn, how we remember, and what we pay attention to.

For these reasons, we designed sound boards with two major design goals:

Provide As Many Cues As Possible

  • The icons on the buttons are visually distinct.

  • HexTiles come in a range of different colors, so dogs and cats can tell them apart.

  • HexTiles are visually asymmetrical and have a “right side up,” so it’s easy to tell what orientation they’re in.
Organize Words to Simplify Learning with FluentPet HexTiles

Embrace the Uncertainty

  • When we started FluentPet, it was entirely unknown how to best design a communication interface for animals.

  • With that in mind, we designed HexTiles to enable expansion, permit reorganization, and facilitate customization, which enables customers to experiment and figure out what works best for them.


Organizing Words by Categories

The idea of organizing words into different tiles by category was inspired by the Fitzgerald Key, a smart way of organizing concepts to make learning easier. The reason the Fitzgerald Key is so effective in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) learning is based on four key theories:

Easy Recognition

Visual Cues and Memory

Color-coding different concepts provides visual cues that help learners quickly recognize and categorize words. This visual differentiation aids memory retention and retrieval, making it easier for learners to construct sentences​.

Easier to Understand

Cognitive Load Reduction

By assigning specific colors to different concepts, it reduces the cognitive load on learners. This allows them to focus more on the content of their communication, rather than the complexity of language construction. Simplifying the process of finding and using words can be especially beneficial for individuals with cognitive impairments or language processing difficulties​.

Reinforced Learning

Consistency and Predictability

Consistent use of color-coding across different contexts and AAC devices creates a predictable system that learners can rely on. This consistency helps reinforce learning and makes it easier for learners to generalize their communication skills across different settings and situations​.

Each and every button press on FluentPet Connect is captured through the FluentPet app. Track words, trends and patterns to better understand what your learner is saying. Connect with a community of button teachers to share your learner’s progress. And le
Independent Communication

Error Reduction and Self-Correction

The visual nature of the Fitzgerald Key allows learners to self-correct more effectively. When learners see the color-coding, they can recognize and correct errors on their own, fostering greater independence in communication.

Button Arrangements as a visual cue

Many Possible Button Arrangements

Combined with color and location, HexTiles provide a rich set of spatial cues designed to maximize learnability.

Within the HexTile design, we included six possible button locations. This made it possible for learners to productively use anywhere from one to six buttons, in any arrangement on the sound board.

Because our board is asymmetric, this means that the distribution of the buttons themselves on the board can provide another visual cue to learners, including a possible 63 different button arrangements.

For instance, here are 20 ways you can arrange just three buttons on a HexTile.

Women and her dog communicating using the FluentPet Connect HexTile and Buttons