Amazon has launched a new Alexa feature called the Reading Sidekick. The feature is designed to help kids improve their reading skills with Alexa. With the new feature, kids can read physical as well as digital books with Alexa, each taking turns. Alexa will listen to the reading and help the kids if they struggle while reading. The digital voice assistant will also encourage the kids if they succeed.
“Reading Sidekick is designed to complement the time kids spend reading with grownups. So even if you’re busy cooking dinner or working, Alexa is available to read with your child” says Amazon.
The Reading Sidekick feature works with most Alexa-enabled devices — Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Dot Kids, Echo Plus and Echo Show smart display. It is also available for its Kids Plus service on Fire tablets.
How to use the feature
To start using the Reading Sidekick feature, enable the Amazon Kids mode and then say “Alexa, let’s read”. Users will then be asked to choose a book on the Fire tablet or in the Kids Plus app for other devices. They can choose from options like read a lot, a little or take turns.
With the ‘read a lot’ mode, children will be expected to read four pages consecutively. The ‘read a little’ mode is opposite of this. A child is expected to follow along in the book and read one page of paragraph every few pages. While the “take turns” mode will enable reading between the child and Alexa consecutively.
Alexa will listen to the child’s reading and help him in pronunciations and other challenges. Amazon has over 700 books in the system now and more will be released in the future.
Amazon is also rolling out Alexa Voice Profiles for Kids later this week. The feature will allow Echo to recognize the voice of a specific child. It will then personalize the experience to them. Users will be able to set up to four unique voice profiles.