WHAT: ”The Snow Fox,” a storytelling app for kids activated by the reader’s voice.
WHY WE CARE: Animated digital book apps for children are not a new thing, but one that is voice-activated is. Created by agency AKQA, “The Snow Fox” is a wintry short story that unfolds as it is being read aloud, responding to the reader’s voice. The free app uses SiriKit, Apple’s system that can be integrated into apps, allowing people to control the app’s behavior using their voice. Often used for making bookings or financial transfers, but agency AKQA saw a different way to use SiriKit that might be attractive to children who are learning to read.
“The Snow Fox” is intended to be read with an adult as a bedtime story and, instead of flicking through distinct pages, the story moves seamlessly from one scene to another as the child reads. The app personalizes the story, using the child’s name and gender throughout. It also creates a video memento of the experience, overlaying the child’s voice with the animated scenes.