Rivet, a new app of Google’s in-house incubator, wants to help kids struggling to read. The app comes with 120 field – including Google’s workshop – and more than 2,000 children get free books for the pilot projects, as well as in-app support which helps children through the advanced speech technology when they stuck on one word.
For example, if the child is having trouble with one word, they can hear it for it to be pronounced or they can say that it will be shown in the app loud, which was correctly stated and that which needs to improve.
There are definitions and translations for more than 25 languages included in the app so that kids can help read – and especially non-native speakers – to learn better.
For young readers, there is a follow-up mode where the app will read stories with highlighted words so that the child can match words and sounds. When children are beyond the requirement of this facility, parents can choose to disable follow-up mode so that children have to read for themselves.
Today there are many e-book reading apps for children in the market, but it is interesting to have the ability to take advantage of Rivet, voice technology and progress in speech processing.
Android and iOS (soon) will be able to help real-time children on tap on the microphone button, starting on iOS and reading the page lightly. If the child hits a word and starts struggling, the assistant will jump actively and offer support. It is similar in how parents help children to read – as the child reaches a word they do not know or can not say, parents usually help them.
Rivet says that all speech processing is done on the device to protect children’s privacy and its app is COPPA-compliant.
When the child completes one page, they can see which words they read correctly, and on which they still have to work. This app loses awards through points and badges and personalizes the activity by using avatars, topics, and books based on the child’s engagements and reading level.
Other surprises and games keep the kids attached to the app and continue reading.
According to Rivet’s head of tech and product Ben Turtle, the team wanted to work on reading because it is a necessary skill – and who needs to acquire to learn about everything.
“The readers are startled,” he says, “the possibility of graduating from high school and not likely to be four times less.” Unfortunately, 64 percent of the fourth-grade students in the United States perform below the level of skillful reading, “Turtle explains.
Rivet is not the first app from Google to deal with the readings. The app called Bolo presents a similar feature set but instead is aimed at children in India.
While Speak was not an Area 120 project, other people in the incubator focused on education like customer service phone system callous like learning-to-code app grasshopper, or spoken speech processing technology.
Rivet was first seen in the wild during beta testing this year but is now publicly available, and free downloads are available in 11 countries on both Google Play and Apple App Store.