, a leading provider of online reservations to the European hotel industry and Broca Networks Limited, a Cambridge-based speech application provider, have partnered to create an innovative speech-activated hotel booking service, enabling telephone callers to book hotel accommodation throughout Europe over the Internet.
The service works by the caller interacting with a computer rather than a live agent. The caller is navigated through a menu of options that they can select and make requests for information by using their voice. This system brings all the benefits of real-time online booking services to those without easy access to a PC or for those who are on the move. Guests can request information and book hotel accommodation throughout Europe whenever they want from wherever they want.
Brian Corbett, CEO of Broca Networks says, “Speech recognition technology today can provide immediate benefits at low cost to our customers and their users. Transactions over the Internet are general practice today. Broca Networks’ applications further this by linking the Internet to the phone using speech recognition technology, therefore offering an additional channel to market for online companies.”
Adrian Critchlow, Active Hotels’ business development director comments, “Active Hotels is delighted with the results of the speech-driven hotel booking service. This technology, as well as being fun to use, is very practical if you’re on the move. It has only recently gone live and is already taking real-time bookings for our 3,000 hotels across Europe.”
Active Hotels` real-time online booking service links via XML to Broca’s advanced speech recognition and `text-to-speech` technologies. Out of hours customer phone calls are answered by Broca Networks voice interface platform where the caller’s speech is converted into text, which is then used to search for available rooms and to provide a confirmed reservation.
The service uses VoiceXML, the emerging standard for voice-recognition applications throughout the world.
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