Many kids struggle to read at an age-appropriate level these days, but Google is helping with technology that may bring them up to speed. The company’s experimental Area 120 unit has released Rivet, an app for Android and iOS to make reading practice accessible and rewarding. It offers over 2,000 books ranked by difficulty and uses speech technology to coach kids on pronunciation. It sounds like a winner.
Rivet can read words or whole pages, highlighting words as it does. It will also listen to your own reading and give feedback on anything you didn’t get right. The app uses game mechanics to encourage kids. They can earn points and badges, and use customized avatars, recommended books and themes. There are also “energizing games” and “surprises”.
Privacy is a priority of course. This is a kids app after all. So the app requires parental consent. Data is only used to improve the reading experience inside the app.
The app will be available in English in 11 countries including the US. It will expand after this and more content will be added. You never know, it could become a teaching app for reading in schools. This should make it easier for kids to learn.