Nuance and Mundwerk Enable Voice-Driven Dating Service
LONDON, ENGLAND and MENLO PARK, CA - L.U.C.Y., a voice-driven dating telephone service, has become one of Germany's largest speech-based voice automation services due to the promotion of its parent company Com Vision Betreibergesellschaft, technology from Nuance (Nasdaq:NUAN) and development by Nuance partner Mundwerk. The service has been available for 10 months. "We have been working on voice applications with Nuance for some time now, and have experienced a great deal of success in the German market," said Max Moldenhauer, founder of Mundwerk AG. "High-profile projects like L.U.C.Y. just affirm speech recognition's up-and-coming market position and allow us to innovate and improve services all the time." Using Nuance's speech recognition and text-to-speech software, L.U.C.Y. allows singles over the age of 18 to register for the dating service, create a personal profile and contact potential matches anonymously from any phone. L.U.C.Y. helps singles find a suitable mate via a "matching" algorithm that pairs up likely couples based on common hobbies, interests and backgrounds. L.U.C.Y. collects members' information via natural speech. It tags the information that members speak into the system using VoiceXML and then adds the data to a master database, enabling the matching algorithm to begin pairing up couples. "Uptake for the L.U.C.Y. service has been phenomenal, which just goes to show how effective a well designed voice automation service can be," said Nick Applegarth, managing director of Nuance's European operations. "We are sending a clear message to all telephone-based services, that unless you are using speech, you risk falling behind technology-wise and losing out in terms of customer satisfaction and potential ROI." After 10 weeks of planning and set-up, L.U.C.Y. was launched on Valentine's Day 2003. Since then, members call in on a special number and are asked to register and establish a profile. With a completed profile, the member gets a username and PIN, which are subsequently used to dial in to check for potential matches.