Thursday, July 23, 2015

IVR Speech Recognition- KooKoo can now hear you

When we acquired Yantrasoft, the goal was to integrate their speech capabilities into the core KooKoo platform so that KooKoo developers can start building speech applications.

We took a first step towards that goal today with the release of a new KooKoo tag, <recognize>. The tag is free for all users of KooKoo and all developers can immediately start using it.

Our vision is to solve the customer communication problem for businesses. This is another big leap in that direction. This will help your user communicate a lot more easily. 

Entering touch tones is inconvenient, where user has to move the phone from ear and back to press digits or has to put it in front on speaker phone. Imagine the same to be done when using handsfree in car. Our first release of digit pack solves this problem. Now user can just say the digits, confirm saying yes or no and navigate the IVR hassle free.

This would sound miniscule as compared to google and siri that recognize the natural dialogue. While we can talk about the tech that enables such recognition, I would just say that we are solving diffrent problem which has its set of challenges, that limits similiar recognition. Just to make a point, here is demo of how google works when on a phone call  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cN0q8SvlQAk. India with many dilalects makes it even harder.

Our approach allows speech to be helpful, but not blocking i.e we enable press or say. It may happen that speech may not work for someone, that doesnt stop him from using IVR, its his choice to say or press the button like regular IVR. Both will work seamlessly.

Our approach to speech is to make it easily available to our user, without they having to know about how speech recognition works, similar to what we did for telecom when we launched KooKoo. 

Ozonetel will be rolling out multiple domain specific word packs for e.g. cities/state, grocery, banking, insurance etc. These would be already trained and tested for accuracy, and our team would continuously monitor and improve it for better accuracy. Kookoo users just have to use the tag to add speech recognition to their application. 

The recognize tag allows you to include speech recognition capabilities into your IVR application. To start with we are just supporting a couple of grammars.

1. "digit" grammar: This will allow you to recognize digits spoken on the phone. You can use this to recognize pin numbers, OTP, phone numbers, IVR choices.
2. "yesno" grammar: This will allow you to recognize "yes/no". A little surprise, this grammar also accepts hindi. So it recognizes even "haan/naa".  Very useful to ask questions and get a yes or no answer from your callers.

Documentation

You can check out a small demo by calling 040-30247041. It will ask you to say a number from 1 to 9. Say a number from 1 to 9 and wait. The IVR will repeat the number spoken by you.

We are moving from "Please press 1 for sales or 2 for support" to "Please say 1 for sales or 2 for support". It will not be long before you can say "Please say sales or support" :)

Yeah Baby!

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