THE­BUZZ

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - MONEY - ERIKA EN­GLE ——— Reach Erika En­gle at 529-4303, or on Twit­ter as @erikaen­gle.

Scru­ton is not ex­actly a city-dweller, ei­ther, living about an hour’s bus ride from Hilo In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

Work­ing long dis­tance via Skype, the pair cre­ated the app and gave at­ten­dees of TEDx Maui, a tech­nol­ogy con­fer­ence, a sneak peek in Septem­ber.

Ther­a­peu­tic po­ten­tial in­cludes en­hanced color ap­pre­ci­a­tion, but also pos­si­bly as­sist­ing peo­ple with dys­lexia to gain con­fi­dence in sorting, ac­cord­ing to the app’s pub­lic­ity ma­te­ri­als.

Con­tacted Fri­day, Mott said of­fi­cials at the Maui Wis­dom Cen­ter in Haiku are ex­cited about the pos­si­ble benefits for autis­tic chil­dren who re­ceive ser­vices there.

“There are no con­clu­sions right now,” Mott said of the pos­si­ble benefits, but there are dis­cus­sions about pre­par­ing a white pa­per and ap­ply­ing for fed­eral grants for such stud­ies.

Hue­doku has some 100 testers and has amassed tes­ti­mo­ni­als from early users in­clud­ing a physi­cian.

“I’ve worked with enough Glenn Grillo and Ab­hay Mor­ris­sey com­peted in a game at the Hue­doku Olympics dur­ing a soft launch of the app at the Maui Trop­i­cal Plan­ta­tion in Novem­ber. pa­tients who have ex­pe­ri­enced a height­ened sense of color per­cep­tion that trans­lates to their daily life that I can con­fi­dently say play­ing Hue­doku just 10 min­utes a week can im­prove your color vi­sion,” said Dr. Har­ris Mas­ket of Oak­land, Calif.

The Hue­doku web­site says the game will im­prove a player’s abil­ity to blend color, im­prove color ap­pre­ci­a­tion and un­der­stand­ing, and “re­lax all of us from our ad­dic­tion to in­stant dopa- mine hits off of Face­book.”

Val­ley Isle tech­nol­o­gist David Fry de­scribed the app as be­ing “a to­tally unique cre­ation, ad­dic­tive and fun,” in his tes­ti­mo­nial on the Hue­doku web­site. “It ex­er­cises a part of the brain most of us never use. I’m re­ally im­pressed with the qual­ity of the game­play and so glad to see an awe­some app com­ing from friends on Maui.”

Though not yet widely avail­able, the app has a loyal fol­low­ing on Maui, as ev­i­denced by a re­cent event called the Hue­doku Olympics at the Maui Trop­i­cal Plan­ta­tion at­tended by some 800 peo­ple.

Play­ers sat side by side fac­ing the au­di­ence and played the same puz­zle pro­jected on large screens be­hind them.

“Peo­ple were scream­ing with ex­cite­ment as I fin­ished out one of the most chal­leng­ing puzzles in 2 min­utes and 33 sec­onds,” said Ben Holt, one-time Hue­doku cham­pion and founder of the SOURCE Maui arts fes­ti­val.

“It was hue­dork­tas­ti­cally awe­some,” he said. ON THE NET: >> hue­doku.com >> www.youtube.com/ watch?v=01bDQGd5qPQ& fea­ture=youtu.be

erika@starad­ver­tiser.com

COUR­TESY ADA LIZA STE PHENS

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