Interactive Voice Response System

Discussions around miscellaneous technologies and projects for the general membership.
cannona-p40
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Interactive Voice Response System

Postby cannona-p40 » Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:05 am

Hi all.

At the Church, we're always trying to think of new ways to better serve the members through technology. To that end, a few weeks ago, I began pondering the question, "How can we bring some of our web apps to people who don't or can't use the interweb?"

The result of that line of thought can be reached by dialing +1(312) 380-5905. Keep in mind that its a Chicago number, so it will be long distance for just about everyone.

Basically, its a proof of concept of a building locator that allows callers to find their nearest temple, chapel, or family history center.* However, since it is just a demo, there are some gotcha's.*

First, the only feature that works is the "temple finder," but feel free to test the other options, you can't break anything, and if you do, I want to know about it so I can fix it.* Second, you can't say a city and state, you can only enter or say a zip code.* Third, its not using live data, so you may be surprised to find out that your nearest temple is so far away.*

Anyway, I would very much appreciate hearing peoples feedback on this, and also your ideas on what other features could be added or which of our other web apps could be brought to the telephone.* If you think its a bad idea, I'd like to hear that too.*

The platform itself is pretty comprehensive.* Basically, if another automated system can do it, so can ours, so don't limit your ideas to just what I've demonstrated, as its just a part of the capabilities available.*

Finally, there is a very real possibility that this project may never go further than this, so don't be surprised if you never hear of it again. It's just an idea I had, but it might ultimately prove unfeasible, or undesirable for one reason or another.

Thanks!*

Aaron

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:56 am

I gave it a try. It seems to struggle a bit with voice recognition. I had to try twice for the "yes" or "no". Maybe it's my cell phone. I had to cup my hand over my mouth and speak up.

The zip code read back is as a number (eighty four thousand, one hundred fifty), not as a series of digits (eight four one five zero).

I'd drop the mailing address. I think it's unlikely to be used. Some addition of driving directions would be good. Clearly it's not practical to give detailed instructions from where the caller is, but simple "from the west, take 84 to exit 15 ...." type of thing would be good.

Does it try to find the temple whose district you are in, or does it route you to the closest temple? It may not be a big deal with temples, but it would be more of an issue with finding a ward.

mrclark411
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Official?

Postby mrclark411 » Wed Nov 07, 2007 12:33 pm

Is this a home project or an official project? Just curious.

cannona-p40
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Postby cannona-p40 » Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:05 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I gave it a try. It seems to struggle a bit with voice recognition. I had to try twice for the "yes" or "no". Maybe it's my cell phone. I had to cup my hand over my mouth and speak up.


Interesting. Perhaps touch-tone input could be accepted in addition to voice input.

RussellHltn wrote:The zip code read back is as a number (eighty four thousand, one hundred fifty), not as a series of digits (eight four one five zero).

I'd drop the mailing address. I think it's unlikely to be used. Some addition of driving directions would be good. Clearly it's not practical to give detailed instructions from where the caller is, but simple "from the west, take 84 to exit 15 ...." type of thing would be good.

Does it try to find the temple whose district you are in, or does it route you to the closest temple? It may not be a big deal with temples, but it would be more of an issue with finding a ward.


Thanks for the feedback. The zip code reading is just a hold over from some testing I was doing.

The logic of the system will likely be identical to the online system. So, to answer your question, it will probably end up telling you your official ward based on your address.

Aaron

cannona-p40
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Postby cannona-p40 » Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:08 pm

mrclark411 wrote:Is this a home project or an official project? Just curious.


I'd say its somewhere in the middle. I had this idea, and I threw together this proof of concept to show my bosses what was possible. Whether they will think it worth further development has yet to be seen.

Aaron

mrclark411
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Postby mrclark411 » Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:20 pm

cannona wrote:So, to answer your question, it will probably end up telling you your official ward based on your address.

Aaron

The system could give you your "official" ward or if you are traveling, the location (and meeting times) of the ward in the area.

rmrichesjr
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Postby rmrichesjr » Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:26 pm

cannona wrote:Interesting. Perhaps touch-tone input could be accepted in addition to voice input.

...

Aaron


Hi Aaron,

Accepting touch-tone input would be very nice from a user perspective. Especially with the very poor sound quality on many wireless/cell phones, voice recognition is going to have a high error rate. A few years ago my phone company (Or, maybe it was my bank.) implemented a voice recognition system for "customer service" and the error rate was so high the system was very frustrating to deal with, even with a good handset on my end. It was a great improvement when they allowed touch-tone input.

Robert

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:04 pm

Very cool. Ideas I have include:

  • Have a way to dial the temple or ward for you after it reads the phone number back to you. Not sure how this would work as it would tie up another line but it would be cool.
  • Have the option to email or SMS the information back to you. For example, it told me that my closest temple was Navuoo and gave me a lot of information (times, phone numbers, etc.). Have an option to send all of this information via Email or via text messaging to the cell phone.
Great start!

Tom

mrclark411
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Asking around

Postby mrclark411 » Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:57 pm

Some ideas from my house:

Be able to reach Bishops phone number (church office)
Ward phone number (hallway)
Is Temple is open today?
Closest distribution center
Reach the missionaries assigned to that area or mission office (imagine you are traveling, meet someone interested in the Church and want to quickly pass along the referral)

JasonG-p40
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Postby JasonG-p40 » Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:05 pm

tomw wrote:Very cool. Ideas I have include:

  • Have a way to dial the temple or ward for you after it reads the phone number back to you. Not sure how this would work as it would tie up another line but it would be cool.
  • Have the option to email or SMS the information back to you. For example, it told me that my closest temple was Navuoo and gave me a lot of information (times, phone numbers, etc.). Have an option to send all of this information via Email or via text messaging to the cell phone.
Great start!

Tom


Great ideas, Tom!

I think this could easily turn into a very powerful tool both with the way it is currently set up and especially if we can get some of these types of suggestions going too.
Jason D. Griffith
Pampa Ward, Amarillo Stake (Texas)
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