Hokema: Teaching our future to communicate

The Idea

Our world today is more global than it has been in modern history. Different cultures and countries are interacting on a daily basis and now it is more important than ever that we understand each other.

But how to get children excited to learn new languages from an early age? This is what Anna Smolander and her colleagues pondered about. The answer came in form of modern technology.

And so Hokema Oy was born.

”Building a good quality speech recognition for children is very difficult, not to mention adding an automatic speech assessment and feedback system top of that. But we did it! During the research years we realised we have a very special combination of skills and a common drive: to bring communication skills part of language learning to children in a motivational, effective and safe way.  We decided to combine our multidisciplinary knowledge and found Hokema this year, CEO Anna Smolander remembers.

Pop2Talk teaches english in a fun way

The first product of Hokema is called Pop2Talk: An English language learning game for 5-8 year old kids that focuses on pronunciation. It gives instant feedback on pronunciation at a very detailed level and has been academically proven to be an effective learning tool.

Pop2Talk enables an individual practising in a large group, without taking any extra efforts from teachers, our app is designed to be very intuitive for children. It’s also safe: the game has a designed curriculum that can easily be fit into different preferences of teachers.

”Learning to speak and pronounce foreign languages is a challenge. We offer top technology combined with multidisciplinary knowledge to cover this: it’s fun, motivational, designed with kids and teachers. It’s easy to use and effective. We were working at the universities in different fields and testing various parts of the concept”, Smolander reveals.

Excellent learning at a reasonable cost

After starting Hokema participated in the finnish business incubator Aalto Startup Center and currently employ seven people. After Pop2Talk Hokema are determined to find more applications for their technology.

Everyone at Hokema believes helping people communicate is very important.

”Communication is the primary way into understanding each other: socities benefit hugely for smoother communication, for individual the benefits of the ability and courage to speak foreign languages is obvious and well known. There is a huge need for this kind of product and we wish we’ll be soon able to produce our product in different languages as well. We aim for global markets and want to offer children excellent learning experiences for reasonable costs”, Smolander promises.