Scene & Heard App – A Functional, Interactive Communication Scene Creation App!

Scene & Heard App, developed by Tbox Apps, is a multimedia scene communication tool compatible with iPhone, iPod and iPad.

What does multimedia scene communication tool mean? It means it provides you with the possibilities of your typical multi-cell communication app as well as the ability to create interactive scenes using your photos, images, videos and make interactive “hot spots” or regions that speak, play video,  link to pictures or videos or symbols. You can use it to tell a story, make a choice, provide instruction, video modeling or express wants, needs or answers or symbols. Not your average communication app, Scene&Heard mixes communication symbols with a variety of multimedia  opportunities for receptive and expressive language, learning and exploration within the context of real or symbolic images of tasks, environments, people and things for individuals with limited or emerging communication skills. Cost of the app is $49.99 US, but for a communication app with many, many options available within it, it is reasonably priced (a Lite version is also available for trial – see bottom of page).

Here’s Tbox Apps video that overviews of Scene&Heard:

Here are some screen shots of the variety of displays you can create with Scene&HeardApp:

 Above, a symbol based starter communication grid supplied.

Above is a park scene featured as an examples within the app. The transparent blue rectangles indicate the “hot spots” regions that will interact. The blue rectangle “hot spots” have some customization available.  For those of you who know or remember Click- it! or use Intellitools, these rectangles provide the visual cue for items to target for communication, actions or scanning for those requiring  switch access.

Here is a bathroom scene that I quickly created with simple, basic steps and pictures of the sequence of going to the bathroom. Provides the real picture in context with symbol and text support. This could be used learning functional vocabulary, transitioning students from real to symbol pictures and learning the steps of the task to name a few uses. More items could have a hot spot if needed. Adding video to scenes is also available offering video recording (up to 2 minutes) of a skill performed or being taught as a video modeling option within the scene.

With initial exploration, Scene&Heardseemed to  immediately offer possibilities of language exploration and concept development within the context of pictures of familiar people, places and things taken for individuals needing concrete information. The symbol library available uses the Widgit symbols.

It was really easy to jump in and create. I am sure there is more to know, but at onset I was able to create and use within a short period of time  – essential these days within our time crunched days! It reminds me of the ease of Pix Writer software that can be used in minutes by staff with little instruction! Several students that I work with would benefit from this type of language and concept development in concrete and familiar contexts of real pictures, environments and objects they use daily.

For OT’s I believe this allows us functional, context based communication. Visual scenes and sequences with video modeling possibilities of self-care, classroom activities or work tasks provides a wonderful mix of best practice options for our clients. For those of us who are working with students who need visual, functional communication this app can provide many options for learning and communication.

There are a few limitations, video embedded is only up to 2 minutes long and there were a few transitions that seems to load up a bit slow when creating and moving from scene to scene. None of these were significant that I felt compromised its use, frustrated me when creating in the app. I would love to be able to change the dimensions of the hot spots, not a huge issue as the hot spots can be resized but only in one direction.

Thank you to Tbox Apps for allowing me to trial this app. A free Scene & Heard Lite  version is available for trial. I would recommend this app to therapists, teachers and parents who have emergent communicators who respond best to real pictures of familiar visual environments, things and people in context. It is easy to use with very little training at onset required. Manuals are available from Tbox Apps website.

If you are interested in more information visit Tbox Apps website: . They also have other excellent apps such as Predictable that you also might want to explore.

I am excited to add this to my OT iTool Kit and look forward to adding it to several of my students iDevices when school starts in September!


About Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, ATP, CATIS

OTR/L with more than 35 years experience in pediatrics, school based therapy and adult rehabilitation. Masters of Science in Adaptive Education/Assistive Technology with 20 years experience in AT in education of elementary, middle school, secondary, post secondary students and work environments for adult clients. A RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioner with ACVREP CATIS credentials, AOTA Specialty Certification in Low Vision, USC Davis Executive Certificate in Home Modifications, servicing adults and students with disabilities in employment, education, and home environments. A 2020 graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham Low Vision Certification Program.
This entry was posted in App Reviews, Apps for OT's, Apps for Special Needs, Augmentative Communication, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Occupational Therapy, Uncategorized, Visual Communication and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Scene & Heard App – A Functional, Interactive Communication Scene Creation App!

  1. I am a physical therapist and not a speech therapist but this is amazing to me. The app is really cool but what I really like is the concept of including picture symbols in a scene. It puts many more connections for the picture symbols to real life. To me it seems like a wonderful teaching tool. Imagine all the uses for classroom activities and routines. This is the first time I have ever seen the concept of “hot spots” which is brilliant instead of single picture communication symbols. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s