Harman Partners with SoundHound to Introduce Voice-Enabled Solutions for the Hospitality Industry

June 18 2019, 00:35
Harman Professional Solutions and SoundHound, the voice-enabled AI and conversational intelligence technologies company, announced a partnership to power the voice interface for future JBL Professional-branded solutions for hospitality environments.  SoundHound will supply its Houndify voice AI platform to be implemented in Harman's Hospitality Cloud AI, JBL Professional smart speakers and AMX control systems to deliver what Harman is calling Smart Hotel Room Experiences.

The purpose of the joint development is to create solutions that will provide sophisticated, voice-enabled “smart room” experiences for hotel guests. "Beyond providing guests with the “at home” comfort and convenience they are accustomed to through AI-assist technologies, the JBL solution will simultaneously improve the hotel’s bottom line through increased on-property dwell time and revenues, along with reduced customer service expense," Harman says.

Harman is currently running pilot programs of the future solution in hotel locations around the world. In the pilot, Harman’s Houndify-powered JBL Professional prototype speakers enable hotel guests to use their natural, conversational voices to seamlessly navigate the hotel’s many offerings and features, and control room settings. Guests can also stream music of their choice through the JBL Professional speaker via Bluetooth.

By providing guests with immediate access to hotel information and services, along with the ability to automate common requests, the JBL solution will enable hotels to reduce their customer service load and times, and improve customer satisfaction. In addition, customizable integration with Harman’s Hospitality Cloud AI allows the solution to be tailored to return on-property or affiliated responses to queries such as restaurant, service or entertainment recommendations thereby increasing on-property dwell times and revenue.

Beyond providing its Houndify voice AI platform, SoundHound worked together with Harman to fine-tune applications specific to a hotel environment. To tie everything together, Harman Professional enlisted the help of Harman Connected Services (HCS), Harman’s division that "accelerates enterprises’ transformation to the connected world through cloud, mobility and analytics solutions." HCS developed the integration between the Houndify voice AI platform with the JBL and AMX components, and they also developed the solution’s dashboard for device commissioning and management.

“We are thrilled to partner with Harman on Houndify’s entrance into the hospitality space,” states Amir Arbabi, SoundHound's VP of Business Development. “By using our Houndify platform to create a delightful and robust voice experience for hotel guests, Harman has positioned itself as a leader in voice technology solutions for hotels.”

“Harman partnering with SoundHound Inc. and its Houndify platform allows hospitality providers to deliver a simple and pleasurable in-room experience for the guest, whether it’s controlling the room environment or using it for concierge services,” explains Brian Divine, Senior Vice President, Products & Customer Solutions, Harman Professional Solutions. "As voice-enablement becomes ubiquitous with consumers in their home, having a seamless experience while traveling represents a huge opportunity for the hospitality industry and we’re proud that HARMAN/JBL and SoundHound Inc. are coming together to deliver on that experience.”

The Houndify-powered JBL hospitality solution is currently being piloted with a planned product introduction scheduled for 2020.

SoundHound’s Houndify voice and conversational AI platform has distinctive advantages including its proprietary Speech-to-Meaning and Deep Meaning Understanding technologies, which deliver unprecedented speed, accuracy, and intelligence in voice recognition and understanding. To support natural interactions, Houndify understands complicated queries and context, such as previous queries, and compound criteria including exclusion. In addition, SoundHound’s Collective AI architecture allows partners to control the customization of their user experience and innovate rapidly, while benefiting from Houndify’s growing developer ecosystem. Companies with products based on the Houndify platform include Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel, Vauxhall, NVidia, Samsung, Onkyo, Motorola and more.
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