Google has launched a speech-based reading-tutor app called Bolo for Android-based smartphones to help children in rural India with their reading skills. With the reach of the mobile phones rising in India, Google would be looking to use the app to expand its presence in the country. The app is aimed at helping kids who are unable to go to schools or have no access to it. The Bolo app can be downloaded for free from the Google's Play Store. The app can also work offline and does not require an active internet connection.
Designed for primary grade children, Bolo Android app helps to improve both English and Hindi reading skills of kids by encouraging them to read aloud. The app also gives instant feedback.
Meet #Bolo - our new speech-based reading tutor app built with text-to-speech technology. It helps young readers practice their reading while supporting and encouraging them as they read aloud.
Bolo comes with a reading tutor, "Diya", which is powered by the same speech technology that is in the Google Assistant. "Diya can not only read out the text to your child, but also explain the meaning of English text in Hindi," Google wrote in a blog post.
"We believe technology has the power to help transform teaching and learning, and have been actively directing our products, programs and philanthropy to ensure that all students are able to benefit from it," Google said.
Bolo does not require more than 50MB of storage space on a smartphone. The app can be side-loaded and can also be used without signing in to an active Google account. To help children learn, Bolo app comes bundled with 50 stories in Hindi and 40 stories in English. Google plans to add more stories in the future. In addition, Bolo uses word games and in-app rewards to keep the user motivated to learn more.
All the reading material on the Bolo app is free and Google is working with other third party companies to bring in more content to the Bolo.