Google announced Thursday the launch of its new application, Read Along, which aims to help children develop reading skills. “With many students now staying home due to school closures, families all over the world are searching for ways to help children develop their reading skills,” said the American tech giant in a post on her blog.
The company added : “To support families, today we share early access to Read Along by Google. It is an Android application for children over 5 years old to help them learn to read, by providing verbal and visual instructions while reading stories openly.”
Google explained that the Read Along application uses its speech recognition technology to help develop reading and writing skills, and the company launched the application for the first time in India – where it is available under the name Bolo. After receiving encouraging comments from parents, the company decided to release it to more young learners around the world.
Read Along is now available in more than 180 countries and in nine languages, such as: English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Hindi. The company promised to continue to improve the application, expand the set of books, and add more features.
Google explained that the Read Along app helps children learn and build their reading skills independently, with the help of a reading companion inside the app called Diya. As children read aloud, Diya digital aid uses Google’s text-to-speech and speech recognition technology to discover that the student is suffering or reading the pass successfully.
Parents can create profiles for more than one child, so the app can customize the reading experience based on the child’s age and abilities. In order to maintain the safety and privacy of children, the application does not contain any ads or internal purchases. After initial app download and stories, Read Along works offline. Parents can connect to the Wi-Fi periodically to download additional stories.
It is also mentioned that the application does not require any login process, so that the voice data is analyzed on the same device in real time and not sent to Google servers. Read Along is only available for Android, and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.