Amazon has released Rapids, a new reading application designed especially for children as it lets them interact with what they are reading, or even reads the story itself if an adult is not around.
As children born today are more technologically aware and the age from which they start using digital devices continues to drop, it should come as no surprise that childhood tales are getting an update themselves.
This would be the cue for Rapids, a new app from Amazon which goes beyond the traditional storybook idea and instead makes reading more interactive.
Quite a number of other children-related stories and reading apps are already available, including Amazon’s own child Kindle version, but almost all of them are based on traditional designs and features.
The idea for the new app came after Rohit Agarwal from Amazon noticed that small children have already become used to speaking to family and friends via text and chat messages.
As such, Rapids allows its little reader a higher degree of interactivity as the story will now jump from the pages of the digital book and instead come to resemble chat boxes.
The app’s database will include a wide variety of genres, from adventure, fantasy, science fiction, and mystery to sport and humor.
The stories will play out as a text conversation between the characters as the reader will click on the dialogue so as to advance the story.
The new story will also be more interactive as the speech bubbles will come up with a joke so as to make them laugh, or pose a question which would leave them to ponder and think about it.
The Rapids app will also function as a vocabulary enhancer. As it offers the reader the option to sound out a particularly hard word, the respective item will also be added to the user’s personal glossary, so they can come back to it later.
As such, Rapids should also help boost the kids’ confidence and their reading skills. Rapids currently has a database made up of a few hundred stories, with more being added each month.
According to Agarwal, the stories were chosen so as to be both funny and short enough so as to be able to keep the children’s attention engaged until they finish.
Just as with the hard words, the app has an option which will determine its reading out loud the story should an adult not be around, even if the voice is still quite robotic.
Rapids will become available for download starting November 2, for Android devices and Fire Tablets, with an iOS version being available sometimes soon.
Agarwal considers that Rapids will give children the chance to both read and learn in a fun manner on a device which has already become quite normal for them.
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