HYDERABAD: Hordes of promotional messages are delivered each day but how many are actually read by the target consumer base? Ensuring effective delivery of messages to those who are not literate or text-savvy is the working principle for Akshar Speech Technologies Ltd’s new service, msg2voice.
“The text inputs are converted to voice messages in Indian-accented English as well as Telugu, Kannada and Hindi and the message is sent as a simple phone call the end-user has to pick up,” says E Veera Raghavendra, co-founder of the company which works out of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Hyderabad, which houses many start-up companies like Akshar Speech Technologies.
The product which targets bulk usage by companies for customer outreach can also be used by individuals by registering at the product website.
“Older people are not as tech savvy and in a situation when one cannot call them but wants to send in a message, the service can be used. The service has important applications in commercial purposes as well where the fluctuating prices of stock-markets can be conveyed through a simple voice message instead of relying on text,” explains Raghavendra, who completed his MS in speech and language processing from IIIT in 2010.
What makes the service different from other voice messaging services is the absence of regulation on the number of messages being sent, which is restricted to 100 per day per user in case of conventional cell phone service providers.
Further, for those looking to save on some phone tariff, this is an effective tool.
“The good thing about this service is that unlike conventional voice messages delivered through phone, this can work across all service providers. Once the users are registered on our website, we allow a quota of five free text messages and five voice messages per day (restricted to 130 characters). The users have to pay for the services when they exceed the limit,” says Raghavendra.
The two-year-old company published the present version of msg2voice on March 5 this year and already has 50 new users. There are about 10 paying clients, including institutions and clubs. Though retrieving a missed voice message is not possible, the company plans to integrate the option soon.
However, users can choose to deliver a message on a particular date and time.
* Users can subscribe to a dedicated number which will be used to deliver their messages and makes it easier for the recipient to trace the message.
* Call log for the user provides information about the call for voice message, time it was scheduled for and the duration of the call.
* Address book maintained on the website allows users to store 1000 messages and sort the contacts into groups.