Tech giant Google unveiled a new app ‘Bolo’ that aims to help children in primary school learn to read in Hindi and English. The free app, which is being launched in India first, uses Google’s speech recognition and text-to-speech technology.
The app features an animated character ‘Diya’, who encourages children to read stories aloud and helps if the child is unable to pronounce a word. It also lauds the reader when she completes the reading.
The Bolo app will be available on Google Play Store in India for all smartphones running Android 4.4 (Kit Kat) and higher, and can also work offline.
According to the ASER 2018 report, only half of students enrolled in grade 5 in rural India can confidently read a grade 2 level textbook. Google piloted the ‘Bolo’ app in about 200 villages in Uttar Pradesh and early results reportedly show that 64 per cent of children showed an improvement in reading proficiency in just three months.
The company is also looking at expanding the app to other Indic languages like Bengali, soon. To ensure safety of the child, all personal information always stays on device. The users are also not asked for details like email ID and gender for logging into the app.