Category: Area 120

May 14, 2019 Off

Google’s latest app, Rivet, uses speech processing to help kids learn to read

By Jill T Frey

Rivet, a new app from Google’s in-house incubator, wants to help children struggling to read. The app hails from Area 120 — Google’s workshop for experimental projects — and includes over 2,000 free books for kids as well as an in-app assistant that can help kids when they get stuck on a word by way of advanced speech technology.

For example, if the child is having difficulties with a word they can tap it to hear it pronounced or they can say it themselves out loud to be shown in the app which parts were said correctly and which need work.

There are also definitions and translations for over 25 languages included in the app, in order to help kids — and especially non-native speakers — to better learn reading.

For younger readers, there’s a follow-along mode where the app will read the stories aloud with the words highlighted … Read the rest

May 1, 2019 Off

Google launches CallJoy, a virtual customer service phone agent for small businesses

By Jill T Frey

Google is combining several technologies, including virtual phone numbers, audio transcriptions, automated reporting and analytics, in a new effort to help small business owners better manage their inbound phone calls. The company’s latest project from its in-house incubator is CallJoy, launching today. Aimed at the U.S.’s 30.2 million small business owners, the system offers a low-cost customer service agent that helps block spam calls, provide callers with basic business information and redirect customers to complete their requests — like appointment booking or placing a to-go order — over SMS.

Any other calls or questions would be directed to the main business phone number.

Typically, customer service phone agents like this are out of reach for small business owners, but CallJoy is priced at a flat monthly fee of $39 to make the technology affordable.

Like other virtual customer service systems, CallJoy can greet the caller and offer basic information … Read the rest