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Microsoft Intern launches new app Read My World, taking photos with mobile phones to learn words [Latest Technology]

Microsoft Intern launches new app Read My World, taking photos with mobile phones to learn words





Eight interns from Microsoft have developed a new language learning tool that uses a smartphone camera to help adult users improve their English reading and writing skills by recognizing the things around them and letting them learn the corresponding words. The app, called Read My World , allows users to take photos and learn through a vocabulary of more than 1,500 words. According to Microsoft, photos can be taken in real-world objects or in documents.

This app complements formal classroom training and provides a way to learn words for those who don't have the time or money to sign up for a language learning course.

Read My World encourages users to capture what they encounter in their daily lives, rather than offering them a course of study.

“Our initial plan was more of a curriculum-planned approach, but through research and exploration, we realized that the Swiss Army-style approach might be more useful.” Software development intern Nichol Joa Nicole Joyal said, “Ultimately, we have developed a tool that can help users in their daily lives, not teach them.”

Read My World uses a combination of Microsoft Cognitive Services and Computer Vision API to identify the items in the image. After the item is identified, the app displays the spelling and pronunciation of the word. In addition, users can save photos corresponding to words to a personal vocabulary for later viewing.

Finally, the app encourages users to practice their newly discovered words through three built-in vocabulary games.

A vocabulary of 1500 words may not seem like a big one, but this number is actually close to the number of words that foreign language learners can master through traditional learning. For example, according to a report by the BBC , many language learners still have a vocabulary of more than 2000-3000 after years of study. In fact, a study in Taiwan found that after 9 years of foreign language learning, students were not able to master the 1000 most commonly used words.

The report also emphasizes that learning to master the vocabulary used daily is the most important.

Because Read My World focuses on what users can see, it has limitations in replacing formal teaching. To gather feedback from teachers and students after trying out early versions of the app, the team also introduced a feature to detect words in the document. Unlike Google Translate's photo translation feature (which translates the written text into the user's native language), Read My World highlights the recognized word and plays its pronunciation and displays the photo corresponding to the word, allowing the user Know what it is.

For example, if you point your app to a student's school supplies list, it might recognize words like pencils, notebooks, scissors, and binders.

Read My World is a project of Microsoft Garage, Microsoft's internal incubator, which will be open to selected organizations for testing to get feedback. Non-governmental organizations or non-profit organizations that work to improve the literacy rate in the community can fill out a form to get an invitation to join the experiment.

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