Mom Invents Speech-Enabled Reading Assistant

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Ari Fertel, a Baltimore mom of five children (including triplets), couldn't find the right product to help her son improve his reading. She didn't have time to read with him every day and didn't want to pay $75 an hour for a tutor. She knew other busy moms in the same situation. After nine years of research and development, she invented Reading Buddy Software, which will be released later this week.

Reading Buddy Software is speech recognition technology that listens, responds, and teaches as children read by detecting errors and giving on-the-spot help.

"It's like having a tutor in the computer," Fertel, founder and president of Reading Buddy Software, said in a statement.

For the cost of one tutoring session, Reading Buddy Software provides the entire family with 24/7 on-demand tutoring for a month, according to Fertel.

Reading Buddy Software's patented Fluency Scoring Interactive Technology is powered by EduSpeak, speech recognition technology licensed from SRI International, which provided the initial technology for Apple’s Siri mobile assistant. Rading Buddy Software requires a microphone headset, which is included with purchase.

"The idea seemed obvious to me: Use the same technology as Apple's Siri to tutor kids to read,” Fertel added.

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