Google launches Hindi, English reading tutor app 'Bolo' for kids in India


Google Bolo app carries various significant features which will help users yo learn both languages.

Just days after replacing Voice Match with Assistant lock screen access, Google has now launched the Google Bolo app aimed to educate kids in India and also improve their reading skills in Hindi and English.

For Bolo app, Google ran a pilot project with 900 children in over 200 villages in Uttar Pradesh with ASER center. The result showed that 64% of children showed an improvement in reading proficiency in 3 months' time.

The beta version of Bolo, launched in India first, is optimised for native Hindi speakers, and uses Google's speech recognition and text-to-speech technology. The app even comes with an inbuilt "reading buddy" called "Diya" who acts as a tutor to a child reading aloud, aiding students, explaining to them certain relevant stuff, rectifying the mistakes they make, and providing positive feedback.

"Nothing is ever sent to Google through the app", Nitin Kashyap, Product Manager, Google India, told IANS, adding the app is meant for just 10-15 minutes of daily use.

Citing the annual ASER 2018 report, Kashyap said, it was found that only half of the students enrolled in grade 5 in rural India can confidently read a grade 2 level textbook. The Bolo app can be downloaded for free from the Google's Play Store. Diya will also be able to explain the meaning of English texts in Hindi. For instance, when the child reads the text correctly, Diya says "Shabash" or very good.

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Google declares that all the reading material on the app is free and it is working with other companies to bring more content to add to Bolo.

Additionally, the app works offline and ensures the security of the children as the data remains in the app.

India is one of the biggest markets when it comes with smartphones and internet-powered services with millions of users and millions of potential users, especially from rural regions. The company says it is not looking to monetize the app in any way and that it is completely safe for children to use.

Understand English better: Diya - the reading buddy in the app cannot only read out the text to your child, but also explain the meaning of English text in Hindi.

Google is working with several non-profit partners who have extensive experience of working in this space to take Bolo to more children across the country. Any personal data associated with app stays on the device.