Understand my world encourages toddlers and preschool children to engage their curiosity about their surrounding world. This easy-to-use app has both an intelligent camera and an intelligent microphone to view the written words and their definitions for your child’s surroundings and for the speech that they say and they hear from the questions they ask. Each word can be presented without its spoken equivalent as an option in the app’s Settings. The words are zoomed out and presented in a large and eye catching format to attract your child’s attention to the words and, therefore, create a more vivid experience, which will reinforce their learning to read the words. This is similar to how the child learns spoken language.
The app requires an internet connection. All interactions with the app are completely anonymous, and the internet access is solely for the purpose of automated image and speech recognition. You can establish an internet connection in the general Settings app on your device. It should be noted that the device does not permit any indecent or offensive words to be written on the screen or to be generated by the device.
The home screen shows four buttons, which are guide, settings, camera (see), and microphone (question). Touching the guide button gives the instructions for using the app. The settings icon allows you to adjust the presentation rate and the presentation size of the written words in the question section. It also gives the option of whether speech should accompany the presentation of the written words.
The other two buttons on the home screen give pictures of a camera and a microphone. These two icons occur with the words see and question. The descriptions of these two functions are given in the camera see and the microphone question sections of the guide.
When the picture of the camera is touched, the device is in camera mode. The child explores their surroundings by looking through the screen of the tablet and searching for a scene to photograph. Taking the picture puts the picture on the screen and word descriptors and definitions are presented one at a time on the screen in large letters, and each word is zoomed out (made larger) to capture the child’s attention. The spoken word can accompany the presentation of each written word or it can be eliminated by turning off the speech playback in the settings. The child can continue with this picture, generating new words and their definitions. Touching the bottom left pointing arrow button returns to the home screen.
When the picture of the microphone is touched, the device shows a microphone and is in microphone mode. The child, playmate, or caregiver asks a question that will be automatically recognized. Touching a question button changes the screen to red, which means to start asking the question. The done button should be touched when the person is done talking. The question and the answer are then presented.
There are many different types of questions you can ask. Here are a few examples.
You can retrieve results from Wikipedia.
Tell me about Ben Stiller.
You can convert various units of measurement.
How many miles in 7 kilometers?
You can ask for the meanings of words.
Ask for the spellings of words.
Ask for the meanings of ideas and concepts.
What is the meaning of global warming?
Ask about sports.
What is the Tour de France?
Ask about the date, time, and weather.
Is it raining in Washington, DC?
You can perform arithmetic operations.
What is 7 divided by 2?
There are many other questions that you can explore.
Sometimes the program will not recognize what you asked, or it will not have the information. In these cases, you will get the reply, sorry, I didn’t get that.”