Google has released Bolo, an Android app that is aimed at improving the reading skills of children. Bolo is powered by the company’s speech recognition and text-to-speech technology that comes built-in with a helpful reading buddy, “Diya.” which explains and corrects the child, as they read aloud.
The Bolo app helps you children read all by themselves Just like a personalized reading tutor, the app assists them at every step, giving both positive and corrective feedback. It features a large variety of engaging stories which are completely free and the initial catalog from Storyweaver.org.in includes 50 stories in Hindi & 40 in English.
Children can also play interesting word games and earn in-app rewards and badges. Multiple children can use the same app and track their progress separately. Over time the difficulty level of recommended stories adjusts according to their reading skills. Diya can not only read out the text to your child but also explain the meaning of English text in Hindi.
The app works even when the device is offline, so children can just focus on reading. The app has been designed with children’s safety and security in mind and all personal information always stays on the device. The Bolo app is now open to all children and their parents across India, under an open beta program. Google also said that in the next six months, it will be working closely with four of its nonprofit partners; Pratham Education Foundation, Room to Read, Saajha and Kaivalya Education Foundation – a Piramal Initiative, who have extensive experience of working in this space.
Google Bolo app is now available on the Google PlayStore in India. The app is designed and optimized for native Hindi speakers currently, but will be available in other languages soon.
Nitin Kashyap, Product Manager, Google India said:
Bolo is designed as a reading-tutor app that helps primary grade students to improve their reading — anytime, anywhere. With Bolo, we aim to encourage and engage kids so their love for reading grows and it becomes a daily habit. We believe that technology can be a powerful enabler, and we want to ensure that students, parents, teachers and the education ecosystem, benefit from it. We have been piloting Bolo in 200 villages, and the early results are very encouraging. We are now actively working with a number of nonprofit partners to take it to more people across the country who could benefit from it.