Aspect puts 'fingerprint' stamp on voice recognition

Aspect Communications Corp. on Tuesday detailed Version 6.0 of the Aspect Customer Self-Service application, which features the ability identify a user via voice verification.

With the new release of the transaction assistance application, a caller has his or her voice registered on the system, which then maintains a "fingerprint" of the speaker's voice, according to Apsect's Charlie Rabie, vice president of customer self-service technology at the San Jose, Calif.-based company.

Version 6.0 leverages "the latest and greatest in voice recognition technology and that includes the ability to identify the user," Rabie said.

"Essentially, a caller has his voice registered on the system and the system keeps a fingerprint of his voice. It sort of opens the door for self-service applications that might not have been possible before," in areas such as banking, Rabie said. "You could now do things where you might have needed a live agent before," he added.

With Aspect's product, customers can give direct commands, such as making a payment.

"Businesses that deploy this can save a fortune," Rabie said. But customers with specific support questions still would need to contact a live agent.

A beta user of the product said he is pleased with the product's improved voice recognition and performance, but has not used the speaker-certification function.

"We haven't used that. We haven't found a need for that type of aid," said the user, Dan Reagan, vice president of technology and architecture services at Navitaire, a Minneapolis-based developer of airline accounting applications.

Navitaire is a long-time user of Aspect's products, Reagan said. "The software has worked well for us as far as how we can design call flows," he said.

In addition to the speaker verification, Aspect has unbundled its software from its hardware solution, enabling user sites to select their own PC system for deploying the application. Deployment also requires two PC cards, for phone connectivity and advanced speech recognition.

Aspect acquired the voice application product line when it bought Voicetek in 1998. Nuance's voice recognition technology is bundled with the application.

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