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March 27, 2007

Loquendo TTS Helps Bring 'Ask Anna' to Life for IKEA Website

By Stefania Viscusi, Assignment Desk Editor

UK shoppers visiting the furniture and accessories store IKEA will now experience a very similar experience whether in-store or online when it comes to customer support.
Speech Recognition and Text to Speech provider, Loquendo announced today that the addition of their text to speech technology together with Artificial Solutions Interactive Web Assistant has brought to life, Ask Anna, a customer support representative for IKEA UK's website that is truly human-like.
When customers visit the site and have questions or need help finding their way around, just as a rep in-store would do, Anna answers their questions, shows them around and has the ability to move and smile.
When visitors to the website have a question they simply type it in a natural way and Anna, via keywords, is able to understand their query or ask additional questions to narrow down her response. This is made possible by Artificial Solutions Interactive Web Assistant which automates customer service via natural language, offers improved customer service while also reducing costs. Over time, Anna also becomes more intelligent by "means of dialogue analysis, while responses and URLs can be easily updated," noted a news release.
The news release also noted plans to expand Ask Anna to other countries' IKEA websites as well as utilizing Loquendo TTS capabilities to expand Anna's language capabilities.
Stefania Viscusi is an established writer and avid reader. To see more of her articles, please visit Stefania Viscusi’s columnist page.

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