According to Daniel Hong, senior analyst at research firm Data-monitor -- who cites the potential benefits of interactive voice and video response (IVVR) as improved customer experience, reduced costs, and revenue generation -- such voice and video systems require a robust infrastructure, a standardized 3G wireless network, and the proliferation of 3G mobile devices and applications, all of which are, for now, sorely lacking in the US. Hong's sentiments are echoed by Bill Scholz, founder of the consulting firm NewSpeech Solutions and president of the Applied Voice Input/Output Society (AVIOS). Scholz thinks the closest they'll get to any kind of universality in the US will be when they will start seeing applications that become accessible across multiple vendors' handsets almost invisibly, he says. So that will certainly provide some of the benefits of true universality of standards as they have in Europe and Asia, but through a somewhat different technique.
Waiting by the Why the U.S. Phone watches and waits as Europe and Asia roll out interactive t’s a familiar scenario: A young couple drives down a deserted Texas road in the middle of the night. voice and video The moon is full, a wolf howls off in the distance, a dark, dilapidated house ruptures the horizon ahead, and then the inevitable happens—the young cou- response ple’s car gets a flat tire. Pulling over to the side of the road, they exit the car and scratch their respective heads, unsure of how to change the flat. At this point, technology our young couple has two options: 1) Go to the aforementioned dilapidated house for help and risk being massacred by a chainsaw-wielding by Adam Boretz madman, or 2) Use a 3G mobile phone to call into their motor club’s interactive voice and video response (IVVR) sys- tem, proceed through a number of voice prompts, watch a video that shows—right on their handset’s display screen—how to change a flat, and continue on their way, safe, sound, and in one piece. Clearly, the second option is preferable. However, since our young lovers find themselves in the United States—and not, say, Europe or Asia—they will be forced to seek assistance elsewhere. Option two just isn’t a reality in the U.S. “We don’t have any IVVR deployments in the U.S.,” says Daniel Hong, senior analyst at research firm Data- monitor. “Quite simply for us, we don’t have IVVR. There’s definitely nothing in the U.S. that I know of that has gone live.” 20 | Speech Technology NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008 www.speechtechmag.com www.speechtechmag.com NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008 Speech Technology | 21 EXPLORING IVVR According to Hong—who cites the “What we are doing at H-Care is work- she politely phones users with reminders potential benefits of IVVR as improved ing on a platform which enables multi- and assists them through menu options customer experience, reduced costs, and channel, self-service capability through via their mobile devices. revenue generation—such voice and the Web, mobile video calls, and multime- “H-Care is a leading company which video systems require a robust infrastruc- dia messages,” Basso says. “Basically supplies new multichannel solutions,” ture, a standardized 3G wireless network, what we enable is to have a real-time, says Mauro Veglia, senior vice president and the proliferation of 3G mobile very high-quality face rendering based of customer services at Fiat. “FGA devices and applications, all of which on a 3D model which would represent the selected H-Care for piloting the HDA are, for now, sorely lacking in the U.S. brand’s customer care rep, and this…[cre- experience because of its technical excel- “Right now in the U.S. market, it’s still ates] on-the-fly communication [that is] lence in graphical rendering solutions. too early,” he says. very
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