Sensory’s Modular AI Brings Voice Assistance, Speech To Self-Service Retail

Posted On: 9/11/2019

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ORDER UP! Voice-enabled self-service kiosks enable fast-food restaurant patrons to order and pay by speaking to a POS kiosk. Sensory's modular AI technology permits adding a customized set of features including synthesized speech responses and human-like avators to simulate human interaction.

SANTA CLARA, CA -- Now available from Sensory Inc. is a versatile digital assistant described as the industry’s first end-to-end platform that provides all the tools companies need to create powerful brand-driven voice assistants that combine biometrics, computer vision and customer analytics.

Sensory’s modular AI platform for retailers and chains is said to be ideal for point-of-sale kiosks, drive-through ordering systems, appliances, IoT devices, mobile apps and more. It supports cloud and “edge” deployments. Unlike other voice assistant platforms, the company emphasized, the platform allows companies to retain full ownership and control of their customer data, and never shares it with big data corporations.

“[The platform] is not intended to be a ‘do-everything’ assistant platform that competes with Alexa, Cortana, or Google Assistant or Siri,” Sensory explained. “It is instead designed to support a specific domain, such as taking menu orders in a restaurant, with extreme accuracy.”

The digital assistant’s design also allows companies to deploy a customized user experience. Its modular software design provides the ability to add or remove certain AI modules or capabilities to create new customer experiences or add onto an existing application.

“We believe that the next wave of interactive consumer experiences will be driven by companies that want to own and control their branded voice experience for use in specific contexts or domains,” said Sensory chief executive officer Todd Mozer. “These businesses may want to know more about their customer’s’ usage and not only understand what they are saying, but who they are and how their experience is going.

“We evaluated the customer journey and built a solution that combines the technologies needed to provide a seamless conversational experience and powerful analytics,” he explained. “Within the company, we talk about the ‘three I’s under the platform’s umbrella’ -- invoke the brand, interact with the customer and identify the client.” He added that the versatile digital assistant allows companies to do this in ways no other voice assistant technology can offer.

Each conversation starts with a custom-branded “wake word” which is designed to invoke the brand. This is accomplished with Sensory’s award-winning TrulyHandsfree always-listening wake-word engine.

Once the conversation is started, the customer can have a fully conversational interaction with Sensory’s TrulyNatural speech recognition and natural language engine.

As the conversation progresses, the system applies Sensory’s latest AI models to analyze the customer’s voice data for demographic information and emotional state. This allows companies to provide personalized recommendations based on various customer metrics.

In parallel to the voice interaction, Sensory’s biometric recognition technologies get to know customers and remember their habits from the moment they first interact with a custom voice assistant. Powered by TrulySecure biometric fusion technology, the platform can identify repeat customers and offer micro-personalized suggestions based on their purchase history. This information can be acted upon in real time, and enables an unprecedented level of personalization for each unique customer experience, according to Sensory.

Beyond TrulyHandsfree, TrulyNatural and TrulySecure, Sensory also offers other a la carte technologies enhance the human-to-machine-interface, including text-to-speech or compressed speech output and customized avatars that can interact with the consumer through extremely accurate mouth movements based on real human speech visemes.

The initial release of the platform has been customized to serve the fast-casual, quick service restaurant industry and is capable of processing voice orders in mobile apps, kiosks and drive-thru scenarios. Sensory demonstrated the modular AI platform to prospective foodservice industry partners at Winsight’s FSTEC conference in Dallas, TX, earlier this month. Future applications for the technology can include hospitality, rental car agencies, airports, doctor offices and more.

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Sensory’s technologies are widely deployed in consumer electronics applications including mobile phones, automotive, wearables, toys, IoT and various home electronics. With its TrulyHandsfree voice control, Sensory has set the standard for mobile handset platforms’ ultra-low power “always listening” touchless control. To date, Sensory reports, its technologies have shipped in more than a billion units of leading consumer products.