Swisscom Voice Assistant

Swisscom Voice Assistant

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Swisscom Voice Assistant

The Swisscom voice assistant is a game-changer for Swiss telco customers. It’s the most complex multilingual voice assistant on the TV-Box market that understands Swiss German dialects and speaks German, English, French, and Italian.

Hey Swisscom, what languages do you listen for?

  1. Hey Swisscom, brauche ich heute einen Regenschirm in Zürich?
  2. Hey Swisscom, turn up the volume.
  3. Hey Swisscom, voglio ascoltare Rihanna su Spotify.
  4. Hey Swisscom, allume mon lampadaire dans le salon.
  5. Hey Swisscom, ufä sänder SRF 1 wägslu.

To this date, the Swisscom voice assistant was our fastest project to deliver, going the extra mile and providing a multilingual complex voice assistant with four design versions for each language in only ten months.

A new dimension of controlling your TV

When in Switzerland, forget tediously typing 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' into the remote control when you want to watch it on TV: you can say it to your Swisscom TV Box.

Our linguists and voice experts joined forces with Swisscom to develop a custom-built multimodal assistant for the Swisscom TV Box. In doing so, we created an independent voice assistant for Swisscom, with no strings attached to other voice platforms. This allowed us to enrich the assistant with a strong Swisscom brand personality and an intuitive Conversational Flow throughout the entire brand-user interaction.

Hey Swisscom, let's see you in action

A few highlights of the project

Voice Development and Voice Design

Our VUI designers, voice developers, and linguists collaborate with talented knowledge engineers, voice backend, and client developers at Swisscom in this custom-built assistant project. Our Voice UX design, in one way or another, plots the development of all technical components: we helped the first Swiss ASR (automatic speech recognition) on the market to cope with multilingual input in the context of TV entertainment.

Together, we designed the system to make Swisscom content more inclusive and more accessible through voice.

Working together with Swisscom, we established deployment and working processes to handle all voice design and voice development deliverables to deliver a good voice UX in a multimodal environment continuously.

Sound Design and Phonetics

The non-verbal signals and tone of voice in a conversation make the acoustic charisma of an assistant persona. In our sound design, we make sure that the sound in our conversations is accessible and meaningful.

With a team of 80% linguists, we bring a host of valuable specialties to voice projects. Our phoneticians teach the standard and custom TTS for German, English, Italian, and French to give smooth pronunciation in Swisscom’s multilingual context.

Utterance Design and Prompt Design

Utterance and prompt design in this project enable mutual understanding between the Swisscom Voice Assistant and Swiss users – in four different languages.

In collaboration with the computational linguists and knowledge engineers at Swisscom, we shape the multilingual recognition of the first Swiss Voice Assistant using the Teneo platform. Teneo provides, among other things, an NLU (natural language understanding) component based on a hybrid approach of linguistics and machine learning.

These hybrid NLU systems are invaluable in facing the biggest challenge for speech recognition: to understand different languages and dialects correctly.

Our utterance design makes sure to provide the correct language input, so the Swisscom Voice Assistant understands German, English, French, and Italian Swisscom customers alike. In our prompt design, we keep the charisma of the assistant persona in all languages and stick to Swisscom’s brand values.

Voice UX

There are two ways the Swisscom Voice Assistant is accessible for conversations. The microphone array (which is integrated into the Swisscom Set-Top Box) allows far-field recognition after the wake-up-phrase 'Hey Swisscom.' And the familiar Push-To-Talk button and respective microphone in the remote control were already well-known to Swisscom customers from voice search. 

We aim to make the most significant graphical user interface in people's homes, the TV, part of a premium, multimodal voice user experience that is accessible and intuitive.

Voice Monitoring & Analytics

We measure anonymized user behavior and system performance in collaboration with data analysts. Using specific KPIs, churn, and success rates, amongst other metrics, help us to identify optimization potential and adapt and iterate our design and implementation.

Combining quantitative measurement with qualitative user testing and interviews gives us valuable data to improve since the most crucial feedback always comes from Swisscom customers.

Constantly challenging our design hypotheses and adapting to user needs means achieving a good user experience – and consistent business value for a great voice project.

References

"I worked extensively with the VUI.agency past several years in my role as Product Manager Voice and had nothing but good experiences. They are bright, innovative, agile, and dependable. 

With an energetic approach, they have consistently achieved and often exceeded our goals. VUI is a key player in building voice designs, multimodal user experience, and dialogues for custom Swisscom Voice Assistant. 

Throughout engagement with Swisscom, they consistently display a remarkable ability to cope in high-stress situations and thrive in them. During the project in 2019, when notified of a shortened deadline, they managed voice design topics with confidence, despite the time constraints. And in recent months, their efficiency procedures and know-how significantly strengthened our overall Voice Assistant product results. They work hard and will spend the time necessary to ensure the quality of every single detail. We are grateful to have them on our team."

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Best of Swiss Apps 2021

Swisscom Voice Assistant wins gold at Best of Swiss Apps 2021 in the Conversational UI category.

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Swisscom TV customers use the voice assistant

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Local Service

With our new Swiss office in Zurich, we remain close to our current and future customers and provide local services and conversational UX expertise to the Swiss market.

Is contextual voice experience the next breakthrough in voice user interaction?

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