Biographical Information

Lauren Shopp

Articles by Lauren Shopp

D-I-Y- or B-U-Y

Do-it-yourself may work for home improvements, but IVR design's a bit more complicated.

Insuring a Smoother System

A health insurance company turns to analytics in search of the reason behind sky-high call volumes.

The Drive's on to Cut In-Car Texting

In response to a survey that found a high number of people send text messages while driving, speech recognition company vlingo today called for a greater adoption of speech technologies in the mobile market.

Verint Wins Patent Case Against NICE Systems

Court awards Verint $3.3 million in damages in a speech analytics patent infringement suit.

Microsoft Expands Auto Offerings to Other Manufacturers

Microsoft software will come loaded into cars produced by Kia and Hyundai starting in November, when the software giant's one-year exclusivity agreement with Ford ends.

Mining for Meaning

Contextualizing calls prepares speech analytics for mainstream adoption.

Upwardly Mobile: Speech Answers the Wireless Call

Following a bevy of vendor announcements in April, speech is poised to better integrate into mobile devices.

On the Scene: Voice Search and VoiceCon

(Voice) Searching for Answers, Divided We Fall

CallMiner Awarded Speech Recognition Patent

The speech analytics vendor yesterday announced it was granted a patent that would allow speech recognizer outputs to increase accuracy with a new algorithm.

Vlingo Named a 2008 FireStarter

With Yahoo's adoption of its technology, speech recognition company Vlingo has had a "hot" couple of months.

Telrex Gets SaaS-y

Telrex is offering its full line of products on a monthly subscription basis.

Nuance to Acquire eScription

Company hopes to streamline clinical documentation process to save the healthcare industry $1 billion by 2011.

EMEA's Hosted Services Market Growing Steadily

Hosted service vendors in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa have reason to celebrate: Their market has finally emerged from its nascent state.

How to Select an Outsourcer

Knowing what and when to outsource is just as important as the outsourcer selected.

Visual Voicemail Gets Personal

Voicemail services provider YouMail is adding a free speech-to-text feature to its services.

Tellme Eyes iPhone SDK

Voice services provider Tellme acknowledged it is looking into the iPhone SDK, but that it has no definite plans as of yet.

SpinVox Makes Big Plans for Additional Funds

Voicemail-to-text vendor pledges to enhance technologies with almost $200 million in investor funding.

IBM Gets Sci-Fi and Al Gore Materializes

Former vice president touts the carbon emissions-reducing environmental benefits of unified communications.

Avaya, Microsoft Ask If You See the Future in UC

In a pair of keynotes at VoiceCon 2008, Avaya and Microsoft executives lay out the future of unified communications.

Agent Assistance Meets Directory Assistance

Spoken Communications and Call Genie announced today at the Voice Search Conference in San Diego a partnership that leverages Spoken's agent-assisted interactive voice response (IVR) technology with Call Genie's targeted advertising services.

STT Gives a New Voice to TTD

Sprint yesterday released WebCapTel, a free Web-based service that gives deaf or hard-of-hearing users the ability to read transcripts of telephone conversations while speaking to the other person.

Secret Agents

The hidden value of someone behind the scenes.

Settling the Score

A consulting firm moves from paper to IVR

Asia's Contact Center Boom

Industry giants IBM and Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories are bringing their contact center expertise to China

NPR For the Deaf: All People Considered

National Public Radio unveiled plans to offer the first readio service for the deaf and blind

Found It! EveryZing Releases New Search Services

In further attempts to bolster its place within the multimedia search field, EveryZing today released two new products: ezSEO and ezSEARCH.

Verizon Takes Business to Europe

Verizon Business announced today that it has expanded its hosted interactive voice response (IVR) solutions to 11 European countries.

A Talking Head Lends a Helping Hand

Two professors at the University of California-Santa Cruz received a $100,000 grant from Microsoft to fund their work on a virtual speech therapy tutoring system to help stroke victims regain their powers of speech.

The Legacy Ends Here

VirtualLogger initiated a Trade-Up Program for new customers that gives them cash in exchange for their legacy call recording and quality monitoring systems.

Unified Communications Uptake Predicted

Though adoption of unified communications has been relatively slow so far, a new report from Datamonitor has identified UC systems as a "trend to watch" in 2008.

Making the Internet Talk

Text-to-speech (TTS) provider Cepstral is giving a voice to the Web avatars used on the 3D instant messenger site IMVU Virtual World.

Commetrex’s BladeWare VXML CE: Good News for the SMB Market?

Commetrex, a telecom media-server and gateway technology provider, announced today that its BladeWare VoiceXML (VXML) Commercial Edition (CE) was selected by Interactive Intelligence. BladeWare VXML CE, a paid version of its open-source BladeWare VXML program, is the only VXML interpreter on the market updated for VXML's 2.1 standard.

Dialing for Dollars

MasterCard uses speech recognition to help customers find a million ATMs worldwide.

Zeroing in on Opting Out

To stop callers from automatically dialing an agent, press or say 'Good VUI Design'

Speech Gets Social, But Do Users Want to Talk?

In October, U.K.-based speech-to-text (STT) provider SpinVox launched a free service that allows Facebook users to make changes over the phone to their accounts or profiles. But even with Facebook's 15 billion page views per year, would the site's mobile user base want to update their profiles, interact with friends, or change status messages using voice?

VoiceXML Testing Made Easy

Syntellect launches Voiyager, an application that can test every call path in VoiceXML code for errors in a matter of hours.

Video Takes Front Stage in Envox 7.1

Envox Worldwide has released the newest version of its communications development platform, Envox 7.1. The updated version includes new features for interactive voice response, but also contains video capabilities that point toward a 3G-enabled mobile future.

AT&T Debuts U-Verse Voice VoIP Service

Following a limited launch in late December, AT&T debuted its new digital voice service, U-Verse Voice, in Detroit today.

CallWave Goes Premium, Moves to Mac

Facing competition from speech-to-text (STT) providers like SpinVox, CallWave upped the ante on its service offerings this Monday when it launched three new subscription plans connected to its service.

MacSpeech + Nuance = Dictate

Speech recognition software provider MacSpeech planned to replace its existing speech-to-text (STT) iListen software with Dictate, which uses Nuance's Dragon NaturallySpeaking technology.

When it Comes to Health, TTS Isn’t Always the Answer

Despite speech technology's increasingly prominent role in the health care industry, some instances remain in which a human voice gets the job done just as well, if not better.

NPR Makes Radio More Accessible

National radio broadcasting network NPR announced plans today that it has taken steps to make its programs accessible to both the deaf and blind.

Understanding Callers' Post-Holiday Anger

The holiday season may be one of the busiest times for some contact centers, but the aftermath is just as brutal.

Apple Granted Speech Synthesis Patent

On Dec. 25, Apple received a patent for a method that would greater enhance naturalness in its speech synthesizer.

Energy Company Sends IVR Upstream

Stream Energy implements speech solution in its call center.

Alltel Adds Voicemail-to-Text Capabilities on Mobile Phones

Wireless carrier late last week launched a new Voice2TXT service, powered by speech-to-text provider SpinVox.

Sensory Announces New Time-Setting Technology

FluentChip 3.1 includes ability to set clocks with natural voice commands.

VoiceObjects 7.2 Adds Video and Analytics

VoiceObjects will release an updated edition of its phone application server software suite, VoiceObjects 7.2, preloaded with analytics and business tracking tools and video capabilities that will work with 3G phones.

Avaya Solutions Rated SIP-Compliant

Business telephony solutions provider Avaya announced today that it became the latest vendor to receive SIPconnect Compliant certification.

Verint Takes a 360-Degree Approach to Workforce Management

Further updating and enhancing its current workforce optimization (WO) and quality management (QM) systems, Verint Systems today released its Impact 360 application.

AssistMed Adds Voice Security Layer to Medical Services

AssistMed, a Los Angeles-based IT company that provides solutions for physicians and healthcare organizations, has added VoiceVault's Caller Authentication service to its DictAide product.

SpeechCycle Web Portal to Improve Caller Experience Management

Application enables contact center managers to immediately customize messages to callers accessing natural language applications.

Presenting the Bible, in MP3 or .Wav

While conducting missionary work in South Africa, Pieter Schutte encountered a problem common among English-speakers wishing to communicate with those whose primary language is not English: how to effectively get a message across in English, without confusion.

Primas Prepares to Pounce on New Market Opening

When Nuance acquired contact center solution provider Viecore last month, many chalked it up as yet another example of the speech powerhouse buying up more market space. But Primas viewed the purchase as an opportunity.

FBI Joins Ranks of Government Organizations Deploying Nuance Software

Following in the footsteps of two other government organizations, the FBI chose Dragon NaturallySpeaking from Nuance Communications for use in creating documents throughout the organization.

Convergys Urges Automated, Personalized Approach to Happy Customers

Stressing the need for a uniform, automation-driven business optimization process, Convergys today announced the formation of its new Relationship Management Technology group.

Boeing's Credit Union Switches to Speech-Enabled IVR

Boeing Employees' Credit Union (BECU) selected TuVox for the redesign and restructure of its telephony infrastructure to include an interactive voice response (IVR) application.

TTS Is Finding Its Way

TTS technology marches forward, despite its current flaws and limitations.

With One Voice Technologies, India's Residents Enter Dialtone 2.0

One Voice Technologies will provide its MobileVoice email reader, which allows users to read and send email from either a landline or mobile device, to Mahangar Telephone Nigman in India.

Study Shows VoIP Quality Leaves Room for Improvement

Partnering (and Adapting) for a Multichannel View

Speech analytics provider CallMiner announced today its partnership with Clarabridge, a Virginia-based text analysis software company.

Facebook Integrates SpinVox Speech-to-Text Applications

Through a deal reached today, Facebook will incorporate SpinVox's speech-to-text (STT) applications into its network, allowing users to update their status, write on comment boards, send messages to other users, and post blog-like ‘note' entries to their profiles.

Speech to Be the Catalyst for Mobile Web Innovation

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Citing statistics of mobile Web adoption rates, Vlad Sejnoha, chief scientist at Nuance Communications, presented a case, or challenge, for the rapid, cutting-edge development of speech-enabled applications for mobile services.

TTS Solution Fully Integrated with iPod and iPhone

The push for including speech applications in the iPhone and iPod won a small victory today.

Hexia Releases Iceland's First Mobile Text-to-Speech Application

Though its population tops slightly more than 300,000, Iceland's tech-saavy citizens have made for a country willing to adopt cutting-edge technologies at rates similar to the rest of Europe. And this month, Icelandic speech company Hexia launched the country's first text-to-speech (TTS) application for mobile phones. Called Ragga, the self-service application delivers synthesized speech to a user's mobile device.

Speech Helps Virtual Bar-Goers Meet the Girl of Their Dreams

Fubar has helped more than 1 million people meet friends or flirt while they wear sweatpants. Now, Jangl is using speech technologies to help them get to the next level: grabbing a new friend's or love interest's phone number or leave them a voicemail.

Nuance Expands Medical Transcription Services

Nuance Communications today announced an expansion of its Enterprise Express Speech System, the company's speech-assisted transcription service, using Dragon speech-to-text capabilities, coupled with technology from Dictaphone.

U.K. Contact Centers Spend Too Much on Agent Verification

A new report from ContactBabel has found that U.K. contact center costs for agents to verify customer information have reached $1.8 billion, when voice biometrics could save a significant portion of that money.

Dublin Airport Gives Flight Information a Voice

Dublin Airport Authority announced today that it recently implemented a fully automated, speech-based flight information system to reduce contact center overload.

Speech Helps Students Return to School Safely

Working in New York during 9/11, Michael Sher lost all ability to communicate with his family and coworkers. Access to phone lines, email, Web sites, and mobile providers evaporated, and he had no way of confirming his safety to others. He thought there had to be a better way to keep people in touch during emergencies.

A Helping Hand

An engineering student builds a speech program to help an Italian child use her computer

Analytics Analyzed

While there are caveats, the right approach to speech analytics can yield higher customer satisfaction rates and financial returns

Booking Reservations Without Reservation

For Reservation Center, call recording technology takes the hassle out of fixing travel troubles

Datamonitor Report Finds Growth of Home-Based Contact Center Agents

In a report published today, market analysis firm Datamonitor found 47,000 customer service agents work from home worldwide, and expects this number to rise to almost 224,000 (a 36.4 percent increase) by 2012.

Coveo Wins Patent for Search Technology

Coveo announced today that its audio/video, speech recognition-powered search technology received a patent. Part of the company's Coveo Audio-Video Search (CAVS) technology, the Coveo speech recognition application differentiates from others because it can both cater to a specific industry's jargon and modify its dictionary as needed.

GPS System with TTS Capabilities Enters Chinese Market

GPS provider Magellan announced yesterday that it would market three of its leading speech-enabled products in China, a country where entering text can be difficult because of the large number of unique characters in its alphabet.

Sensory and CSR Team to Offer Speech-Powered Bluetooth Chip

Known for making embedded speech recognition chips and software, Sensory expanded its offerings today with the announcement that it will provide chips for wireless Bluetooth headsets manufactured by CSR.

Web Site Seeks to Create an Online Speech Community

Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories and Nuance Communications announced plans today to form an online community for the entire speech technology industry. Phase one of the effort will involve launch of the Web site next month.

SER Adds Gryphon Networks Do-Not-Call Solution to Call Center

SER Solutions, a Virginia-based call management and speech analytics provider, is integrating Gryphon Networks' Contact Governance software to its clients. If they choose to do so, SER customers may opt for Gryphon's Guardian Interactive solution, which provides an automated do-not-call (DNC) solution for outbound contact centers.

Strong Growth Expected for UC and IP Contact Centers

With the growth of offshore call centers and ever-increasing modes of personal communication, unified communications (UC) has filled a niche for businesses with disparate locations, and people who rely on a combination of voice, email, and text messaging to stay up to date and in touch. From both operational and business aspects, vendors have marketed unified communications toward companies wishing to increase productivity and save money.

Callwave’s Vtxt Hits One Million Voicemail-to-Text Transcriptions

Two months after releasing a beta version of its Vtxt service, Callwave announced yesterday it had transcribed 1 million voicemail-to-text messages. The company, which develops technology linking phones and computers, currently offers the only voicemail-to-text service free of charge. In addition to text transcriptions of voicemail sent via SMS, Callwave also sends the transcribed message to an end-user's e-mail address, and posts it to the user's account on the company's Web site.

Wavelink Releases Terminal Emulation 7.0 For Retail Companies

SALT LAKE CITY - With a vast inventory and sometimes intricate array of orders, warehouses still face problems of accuracy, regardless of more advanced data collection methods. Companies like Vocollect and Voxware have attempted improving accuracy in warehouses by introducing voice-driven technologies in the use of packaging orders and distributing tasks among workers. Running on the success of speech technology in the retail space, mobile infrastructure management software company Wavelink introduced its Terminal Emulation 7.0 with Wavelink SpeakEasy software yesterday.

Cepstral Adds Open Source MRCP Library to Telephony Industry

Cepstral, a text-to-speech voice provider, is taking steps in propelling the developer community to produce more effective, meaningful speech technology applications.

Mike Cohen Discusses Speech Technology's Impact Upon Mobile Industry at SpeechTEK 2007

NEW YORK -- Using Google's mission statement, "Organize all the world's information," Mike Cohen, the company's speech technology group manager, maintained that speech technology will make an impact in the mobile market, and companies should take steps to adapt to the change.

Nuance Releases Mobile Voice Control for BlackBerry Smartphones

Made with the on-the-go user in mind, Nuance announced today the availability of its Nuance Voice Control application for BlackBerry smartphones.

Crescendo Launches Healthcare Speech Recognition Blog

Professionals working in either healthcare or speech technology have a new blog to turn to for up-to-date industry developments, case studies, and best practices.

IBM Integrates Speaker Verification into WebSphere Middleware

ARMONK, N.Y. -- This week, IBM announced plans to include voice biometrics security into its WebSphere middleware product, marking the first time speaker verification has been so closely linked to middleware, according to one analyst

One Voice Technologies and LTB Audio Partner to Create the Digital Home

Imagine using your voice to tell your Media Center to play MP3 or iTunes music, call to order a pizza, set the thermostat or home theater lighting, play a photo slideshow, watch and record live TV, read and send email, or initiate a video chat session with a friend.

Call Center Report Advocates for Use of Biometrics in Identity Verification

LONDON -- New research from contact center analyst firm ContactBabel found that of the 43 billion calls that U.S. contact centers will receive in 2007, contact center agents will ask identity verification questions at the beginning of 41 percent of those calls.

Telefonica Selects Cantata Converged Services Platforms to Enhance Network

NEEDHAM, Mass. -- Spanish telecommunications provider Telefonica purchased 25 Excel CSP 2090 converged services platforms from Cantata, a provider of enabling technologies for IP-based communications applications.

New Device Aids Student Reading

MINNEAPOLIS -- A new phone idea plays back students' readings to help them identify specific word sounds.

Science Center Revamps Exhibits with Avaya Technology

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Using their cell phones, PDAs, or other personal communications devices, visitors to Liberty Science Center will be able to enhance their visiting experience with the help of speech technologies.

VoiceXML 2.1 Sets the Standard

While VoiceXML 2.1’s release created quite a buzz following the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) announcement June 19, the updated platform includes just two completely new features.

Google Buys GrandCentral Communications

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Google announced plans July 2 to acquire GrandCentral Communications for an undisclosed amount, furthering the search engine's expansion into the communications market.

VoiceXML Forum to Create Biometrics Standards

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The VoiceXML Forum, through its Biometrics Committee, drafted the first set of standards for voice-based biometrics in May and recently sent copies to its members for approval.

British Army Eyes Speech Recognition System for Its Helicopters

HAMPSHIRE, England -- The U.K. Army Air Corps completed another round of flight trials this week using the Direct Voice Input (DVI) system from QinetiQ in its Gazelle helicopters.

Nuance: 'What Are You Talking About?'

BURLINGTON, Mass. -- Nuance announced the winners of its Dragon NaturallySpeaking “What are You Talking About?” Contest