The UK Patent Office has awarded speech recognition specialist VoxGen a patent for its system that automates the building and running of a speech application.
This technology is the basis for applications such as VoiceCampaign?from VoxGen, which allows businesses to launch a wide range of targeted services over the telephone, from marketing campaigns and customer surveys to competitions. VoxGen is working with customers in various sectors that can benefit from this type of system including entertainment, finance, government, and defence.
The patent relates to any template-based system that allows a novice business user to create, host and manage a speech-based application. The user is able to set up the customised application using a web-based wizard that is simple to navigate. The marketing manager can create interactive campaigns, without having in-depth knowledge of speech recognition technology, by entering relevant questions into the templates. When activated, customers can call a number, be asked these questions by an automated voice, and leave answers as required in response.
The system has been designed so that multiple applications can be managed simultaneously. This means that a company can have many customers interacting with a number of different services at one time. It also means that the system may be operated by a managed service provider on behalf of multiple companies.
The template-based system also supports pushing out SMS messages or emails to a specified database, in order to drive traffic to the service. A radio station, for example, can send an SMS to its database of listeners to invite them to enter a competition via telephone.
“This is a closed-loop system that covers all aspects of building and running a speech application, and the output of results. I haven’t seen any similar systems in the UK before,” said Tim Morgan, CTO at VoxGen. “It is a real opportunity for companies to open up a new way to create revenue as it is an easy, manageable way for personnel to create customised speech-enabled applications.”
Morgan continued: “This patent is a big achievement for VoxGen as it again demonstrates industry recognition of its technological leadership in the area of speech recognition.”
This latest award joins VoxGen’s growing number of patents for its innovative speech technology tools. The UK company also holds patents for multimodal interfaces, speech pattern matching, adaptive learning, text-to-speech intonation and grammar induction. All these technologies help businesses save on development costs and improve accuracy when rolling out speech-based services.