Opus Research Issues Primer on Personal Virtual Assistants; Contrasting Approaches and Describing Opportunities

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A new report finds salient differences among dozens of new candidates to offer human-like responses to spoken queries and instructions from mobile phones, traditional phones and Web sites.

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The PVA is the ultimate conversational user interface; but not all PVAs are created equal

Speech-enabled Personal Virtual Assistants (PVAs), like Apple’s Siri, are revolutionizing how people use their mobile phones. Dozens of companies – including Search giants like Google as well as speech services specialists like Nuance, Angel and SRI - have entered the market with their own offerings. In the report, “Personal Virtual Assistants: Primer and Planning Guide,” Opus Research delves into the differences among services and the implications for mobile search and customer care.

“The PVA is the ultimate conversational user interface,” explained Dan Miller, senior analyst at Opus Research and the report’s primary author. “But not all PVAs are created equal. Their usefulness depends on the quality of speech processing, natural language understanding and specfic domain knowledge,” he added.

The report describes the “roots” of PVAs Voice Portals of the1990s, including Tellme, Webley and HeyAnita. It explains how the experience of “chatbot” developers has added conversational qualities like recognizing context and taking turns while interacting. In addition to Apple's Siri, the report looks at Nuance's Nina, Angel's Lexee, SRI/BBVA's Lola, and profiles initiatives from Anboto, Artificial Solutions, Expert Systems, Indisys, NextIT, SpeakToIt, TrueKnowlege, VirtuOz and VoiceBox Technologies

Finally, the report explains what to expect as PVAs forever change and redefine search, customer care, mobile communications and e-commerce by accurately recognizing and responding to each individual’s spoken words.

Opus Research is the leading industry analyst firm focused on “conversational commerce”: merging automated speech processing technologies, contact center automation, enterprise collaboration and mobile commerce. For additional information visit our website or contact Pete Headrick (pheadrick(at)opusresearch(dot)net or 415-904-7666).

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