Lockdown saviour for parents

Lockdown saviour for parents

Story time with a twist: Voice recognition storytelling app brings popular fairytales to life

With schools remaining closed for the foreseeable future – and much-needed daily routines in family homes disrupted – parents are continuing to take on the role of entertainer and educator to their children at home.

So how do you persuade children to switch off their video games, move away from the television screen, and get lost in a good book?

Ahead of National Storytelling Week which starts on 30 January, today the Readmio family app launches in the UK – an interactive storytelling experience which brings well loved stories and fairytales, such as The Three Little Pigs and Jack and the Beanstalk, to life. Through accompanying effects, sounds and music, children are transported into a magical world of fantasy and make-believe when read to by their parents.

So how does it work? As the parent reads the story from their phone or tablet, certain keywords within the narrative trigger sounds – such as the crack of a branch or the creak of a door – immersing the child into the story.

With children now living in an age where they can comfortably navigate a tablet, the Readmio app uses technology to encourage children to develop a love of literature – vital for their long term development and their mental wellbeing.

About Readmio:

  • There are more than 80 stories available in English including traditional folk tales, fairy tales and modern stories. There are 1,756 unique sounds and effects to accompany them.
  • Stories are categorised by age and genre. Languages currently available are English, Slovak and Czech. German will be added this year, with plans to also include Spanish, French and Portuguese.
  • The app has a recording function so that children can enjoy listening to their family members reciting their favourite stories at any time.
  • Readmio’s custom on-device voice recognition solution protects family privacy and allows users to read stories even when offline.
  • The app is available on both iOS and Android.

More about the app and the voice recognition technology can be found in the press release below.

The upcoming National Storytelling Week celebrates the magic of sharing stories – that’s something Readmio is designed to inspire. We believe sharing the new, positive and interactive experience with your readers might be a lifesaver for families who are currently struggling to find a way to enjoy bonding during these challenging times.

Listen together as the big bad wolf huffs and puffs in a new reading experience

Fairytale start-up Readmio launches its voice recognition storytelling app in the UK following recent success with more than 75,000 users in Slovakia and Czech Republic. From folk tales to fairytales to Aesop’s fables, parents can now read these well-loved stories to their children as part of an interactive bonding experience.

The Readmio app is designed to bring stories and fairytales to life when read out loud – with accompanying sounds and music triggered by keywords in the story, creating a magical experience for children when read to by their parents.

With reading linked to children’s ability to communicate, manage their emotions, and understand the world and different cultures, it is an important part of childhood development. However, research by the National Literacy Trust (NLT) in 2019 found that more than 380,000 children in Britain do not own a book.

With Readmio, popular characters such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Aladdin, The Three Little Pigs and Puss in Boots come to life in an easy-to-access library of traditional and modern stories, designed to fuel imaginations and improve children’s relationships with storytelling and reading – encouraging both a love of literature and family time.

About the Readmio app:

  • There are more than 100 stories available including traditional folk tales, fairy tales and modern stories.
  • Stories are currently available in English, Slovak and Czech. German will be added in 2021. Bilingual families can enjoy reading together and share their cultural heritage.
  • Stories are categorised by age: 3-5 years, 5-8 years & 8-11 years; and genre: Editor’s pick, About animals, Folk tales & Aesop’s fables.
  • The app has a recording function so that children can enjoy listening to their parents or family members at any time.
  • 1,756 unique sounds and effects to accompany the stories.
  • With 12 free-to-download stories, 70 more available via subscription (£49.99 per year) and more than 100 tales currently in production, there will always be something to read.
  • Readmio’s custom on-device voice recognition solution protects family privacy and allows users to read stories even when offline.
  • The app is available on both iOS and Android.

Developed in conjunction with the Slovak Academy of Sciences, the team behind the app spent more than a year enhancing algorithms that ensured the sounds played at exactly the right time in the story. The content creators also conducted rigorous testing to make sure the app offers the right balance of music and effects so that sounds would not act as a distraction when reading, but would enhance the narrative of the story.

Prague-based American developer and father, Ilya Novodvorskiy, CEO and co-founder of Readmio says:

“Our inspiration was to create meaningful bonding experiences for parents and children through the magic of reading stories and fairytales. We wanted a product that would not only be a convenient tool for parents to use – but also fun and exciting. As a father, I understand how important reading to my own children is for our relationship. Readmio enhances the experience through voice triggered sounds and music adding to the storytelling adventure”.

Novodvorskiy continues:

“We are excited to launch Readmio in the UK as part of our expansion into Europe. The UK market represents a blend of cultures within families who we feel would really benefit from our multilingual, modern approach to storytelling. With more and more stories produced in English, we see this as an important step into breaking into the global market”.

Following the launch in the UK, the Readmio team’s next focus for this year will be the DACH region with stories available in German. Future languages include Spanish, French, Portugese and Russian. A series of dedicated bedtime stories are also in development.