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App brings busy parents closer to children

Update: February, 21/2016 - 08:29
Quality time: Four students from the Ha Noi University of Technology have invented a new mobile phone application called Mom&Kids. — Photo

Four students from Ha Noi University of Technology designed an app that helps parents stay present in their young children's lives with recorded story-telling and messages. Hoang Lien Hoa reports.

Modern life has negatively impacted the parent-child relationship. Busy parents cannot always spend as much time as they want looking after their little children.

To help parents come closer to their children, a group of four students from Ha Noi University of Technology have invented a new mobile phone application.

With the help of the voice-controlled interactive app, users can speak to a robot or send it messages.

Le Cong Hau, head of the university team taking part in the project, said:

"Our idea comes from the reality of modern life today. Due to the pressures on family life, parents spend less and less time with children. Meanwhile, parents hope their children are doing well at school and improving their ability to study, pronounce and calculate."

"We then thought of creating a mobile phone app that would help parents take care better of their little children when they are absent or when they don't have much time to be with them," he said.

The application, called Mom&Kids, meant for parents and children under 10, has four functions. Firstly, it tells stories and helps little children listen to fairy tales read by another person or by their parents. The voices of their parents are recorded on the application. When the children hear the voices of their parents, they feel close to them.

Secondly, the app asks children to do some mathematical operations, from the simplest kind to more complicated ones. Children can answer the questions by speaking out loud. They can ask questions, which the app will answer automatically.

Thirdly, the app teaches children to spell or read words through fairy tales that they can hear.

Parents can also add questions and answers to this application.

"While focusing on calculation games, this application will help enhance children's love of learning, while strengthening the connection between parents and children through fairy tales and songs that the parents read or sing to children," Hau said.

To ensure that children do not use smartphones for too long a time, the app allows them to use it for a limited time. Each time they solve a math operation, children are allowed some more time to use the app to encourage their love of learning.

The application has been uploaded to Google Play for the benefit of the larger community.

The new application, which has been highly appreciated for its efficiency, has helped the team to win the third prize at the SMAC Challenge 2015 contest, organised by FPT Corporation in HCM City in December. SMAC stands for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud, which refers to a new product being carried out by several companies to offer efficient solutions to consumers facing the pressures of modern life.

The group's members are all just 20 or 21 years old. The students spent a lot of time working on this application, even as they were busy with studies and exams at the university.

"To balance the time devoted to university exams and working on this application, we often discussed via Facebook or Skype, and at arranged meetings," Hau said.

"The most important thing that allowed us to succeed in this work is that the team's members were always very united and willing to listen to the opinions of other team mates," he said.

The group has got a lot of satisfaction by participating in the contest.

"Taking part in this contest was very important for me. I could meet and learn a lot of things from other talented contestants, and more importantly, I could be more creative and pursue my passion for technology. The award is not the most important factor for me," Do Thanh Nam, a member of the group, said.

He said he wished to work at FPT Software Company (part of FPT Corporation, a leading global technology, outsourcing and IT services group with headquarters in Viet Nam) after graduation.

Held with the theme of "Digitising voice", SMAC Challenge 2015 is the first contest in Viet Nam to search and develop interactive voice response (IVR) ideas. In addition, the contest also gives contestants a lot of career opportunities in the field of new technologies and increases their chances of getting funding from FPT Ventures for their projects.

Last year, hundreds of talented students from universities and colleges across the country registered for SMAC Challenge 2015. In order to participate in the contest, besides the love of technology, young people need to have skills in programming for mobile and web services development. — VNS

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