Domino’s Adds Voice Ordering to Mobile Apps

Domino's Pizza has added a voice-enabled virtual assistant to its iPhone and Android mobile apps for ordering pizzas. The platform launched today in beta format and will be enhanced as customers become familiar with the new ordering feature.

The assistant, named "Dom" is powered by Nuance Communications' Nina Mobile, an intelligent virtual assistant that leverages speech recognition, speech synthesis, and natural language understanding technologies. Together, the platform delivers a human-like, conversational customer service experience that allows users to speak an order and quickly add items to their cart. Dom is also fully integrated into the mobile app so he knows all the items on the Domino's menu and can even make ordering suggestions. He takes the order and routes it to the closest store for delivery.

With the new personal assistant, "Domino's can deliver a better level of service," says Robert Weideman, executive vice president and general manager of Nuance's Enterprise Division. "They also get a branded experience."

Dom, Wiedeman explains, "doesn't just try to mimic the experience [a caller] would get talking to a store rep on the phone," but allows for a greater level of personalization and branding. The app can even learn over time, bringing in information like past orders to add an even deeper level of personalization.

"There will be a day where typing on keyboards or with thumbs on mobile devices will come to a close," said Patrick Doyle, Domino's Pizza president and CEO, in a statement. "Our mobile app users who are a part of this launch are truly helping set the foundation for the innovations of today that will soon enough become the standards of tomorrow."

Wiedeman says applications like this are becoming more common as Nuance responds to "a growing need" for branded personal assistants.

Already, USAA, JetStar, U.S. Bank, and a about 50 other companies have turned to Nuance for similar virtual assistant applications, and Wiedeman says the technology is only starting to come into vogue.

"Whether ordering pizzas, booking a flight, or transferring money into a bank account, convenience is what translates to increased sales and customer satisfaction," he says. "Our Nina platform is enabling organizations like Domino's to do just that, and we are very proud to be a part of offering this convenience to their growing number of mobile app users."

The Domino's ordering apps for iPhone and Android, which have been downloaded more than 10 million times, are both available for free from the App Store on iPhone or the Google Play store on Android devices.  Existing iPhone and Android app users will need the latest update to be able to use the voice ordering feature.

Wiedeman says Nuance's goal is to further expand the use of virtual assistants to other platforms, including the connected car, home, and wearable devices.

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