Augmented reality and Big Bird work together to help preschoolers read

augmented reality app for childrenSesame Street has just unveiled the first of multiple apps that will be released for children.

Today’s toddlers are using smartphones even before they know how to read, but Big Bird and the Sesame Street gang are now working together with augmented reality technology to help to close that gap with a fun and fascinating mobile experience for kids.

Preschoolers will be able to use the devices to help to recognize the sounds of written words.

This augmented reality innovation is a joint effort between the Sesame Workshop and Qualcom. Their “Big Bird’s Words” app was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show, where the beloved yellow character took center stage.

The augmented reality app is designed for children to use on their parents’ smartphones.

It allows kids to use augmented reality technology in order to discover words in the real world so that Big Bird can help to sound them out. When the child aims the device at the word, he or she can then listen as the Sesame Street character gives them a hint by providing the sound of the first letter and the sound of the word as a whole. For instance, when a child points at the word “Milk”, Big Bird would help out by saying “You found the word Milk! It starts with the letter M.”

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The Big Bird’s Words app is expected to become available to the public in mid 2013. Though the augmented reality application won’t be available for a few months, it will be the first of at least two releases by Sesame Street, aimed at preschoolers. Another app that can be expected following the initial release will be “Abby’s Fairy Rock”, which will feature that far newer, but highly beloved character.

According to the Dave Glauber, form the Content Lab at the Sesame Workshop, during his keynote, “We know that kids are entering kindergarten with a vocabulary gap.” It was during this speech that the augmented reality smartphone app was first presented by Qualcomm. Glauber proceeded to explain that “With this app we can introduce kids to words wherever they are and give them an understanding of what those words mean.”

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