Speech Technology Magazine

 

Sprint Adds Avatars to Visual Voicemail

Lip-synched avatars can convey sentiment within user audio messages.
Posted Aug 29, 2014
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Sprint customers with select Android devices can begin to upgrade to the latest visual voicemail software that features talking characters and voice effects. Sprinthas begun to offer avatars within visual voicemail.

Built using voice and animation software from Smith Micro, the service allows customers to use visual voicemail to record and send animated messages with unique characters, backgrounds, and voice effects. Avatars are lip-synched with the user’s audio message of 20 seconds (standard) or up to two minutes (premium) to Visual Voicemail to Text service. Callers can choose from a wide range of backgrounds (for example, Happy Birthday, Love, Thank You), to convey mood and sentiment, and can use their own voices or optional voice effects with variable pitch controls. 

Avatar messages can be shared via voicemail, email, or SMS, or posted to Facebook, and users can send messages to any subscriber on any network. The message can be viewed on the Web via any desktop browser, tablet, or smartphone. If the receiver is not a Sprint customer or is a Sprint customer without visual voicemail (for instance, customers using a non-Android phone), they will receive an SMS message with a link to view the animated message.

The launch will include 12 free Avatars and 12 free backgrounds. The service is being rolled out to Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile USA customers with select Android smartphones.


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