Secure Wireless Voice Recognition Hits Australia

Edify Corporation claims its new wireless program gets around the 'wireless security hole', to deliver protected wireless transactions across voice and data channels.

The program gives consumers the option to access their private information through secure voice or data channels with the voice option able to identify callers by unique voice patterns.

"The user initially does three to five renditions of their voice, which creates a voiceprint. We believe the system has 99.6 per cent accuracy on third-time authenticity," says Warren Hill, strategic business director in the Asia-Pacific region for Edify.

The solution is the result of a reseller agreement between the company and Openwave Systems, the combination of former Phone.com and Software.com.

Edify brings to the agreement its electronic workforce CRM platform, and Openwave brings its secure enterprise proxy; which lets an enterprise create a virtual wireless connection to a consumer's device for private data transfer.

The solution is being beta-tested by two companies in Australia. One, says Hill, is the second biggest retail chain in Australia and the other is the biggest in its field of transporting people.

A spokesperson from ANZ Bank said it was also in the early stages of looking at the product.

Edify's solution is expected to be rolled out worldwide in January next year.

Hill said the system is of most use to industries that interface with customers for security reasons, such as e-commerce, financial institutions, transportation and for companies with employees wanting to access their e-mail and voicemail wirelessly.

The front end of the system integrates with voice, wireless, fax, e-mail and pager interfaces, while the back end integrates with most legacy systems. "If for some reason, there are integration issues we simply build an API to make it fit," Hill said. The system has full PKI, 128-bit wireless transport layer security and secure sockets layer (SSL).

The system is being used by the HSN (home shopping cable network) in the US, which receives about 400,000 calls a day and 10 per cent from an elite, platinum card group.

"They buy something every second day and spend about $5000 a month. The company decided to implement this system to give them a slick service so that customers don't have to go through their details each time they order," Hill said.

The system recognises the user's phone number because, Hill said, inevitably customers call from home. Callers verify their identity and natural language software kicks in after the customer logs on which has gone from 97 per cent accuracy to 99.9 per cent accuracy.

"It is a self-learning engine that records every word spoken by the customer. We had a situation that for the first month, customers from the south in the US were not receiving their orders. We played back the tapes and learnt they had been saying 'yes mamma', which the system wasn't recognising. So the system does need to be adjusted for cultural nuances. The Australian system now recognises g'day."

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