One thing I like about iOS is that there are many interactive storytelling apps for kids. The latest in the line is “The Snow Fox” created by AKQA. The app uses SiriKit, Apple’s interface that allows Siri to be integrated with other iOS apps. When you start reading the story, the story app collects your voice data for a few seconds and once enough data is collected, it begins telling the story in your voice.
“The Snow Fox” is a bedtime story. Based on the reading speed of the child, the story moves forward on its own as a voice familiar to the child reads it. The voice can be that of the child or anyone in the family. The story is personalized using the child’s name and his or her gender. Various animated scenes are overlapped by the child’s voice. Kids love to hear their voice so it would be a great incentive for them to listen to the story. In fact, once a template is ready, all major stories can be converted to this format. I would prefer even stories and Hindi for my daughter in this format.
Here is a small video that introduces the story “The Snow Fox”:
The mobile devices are mostly dominated by video games and there are very few storytelling apps available. This scarcity is greater for Android devices. So, it is a welcome change when companies create apps for telling stories rather than playing mindless games.
“The Snow Fox” is a winter tale of a young child who goes on an adventure through a snowy forest with a furry fox to find his or her mother. The story animates as the child reads it. When a sentence is completed, the story automatically moves on to the next event. With every new word, various elements of the story come alive and start moving around. In the end of the story children can even create a short memento of their storytelling and then share it with family and friends.
The only downside is that since this app uses mostly iOS features it is not available on Android. Hopefully, something similar will soon be available for the Android platform too.