The app also relies on game mechanics to spur young readers. Kids earn points and badge, and it customizes the whole affair with avatars, recommended books and themes. Area 120 also promises “energizing games” and “surprises” to keep readers on their toes.

Privacy is unsurprisingly important. All that speech tech is strictly on-device, and the app requires parental consent. Data is only used to improve the reading experience inside the app.

The app works on phones, tablets and Android-friendly Chromebooks, although it’s only available in English in 11 countries (including the US, Canada, Australia, India and South Africa) as we write this. You can expect Rivet to expand, however. The developers vow to add more content, support more regions and better integrate Rivet into classroom situations. While this comes from an experimental division, there’s a chance it could become a go-to app for reading in schools.

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