Harman teams up for voice in hospitality
SANTA CLARA, Calif. & NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – HARMAN Professional Solutions, the global leader in audio, video, lighting and control systems, and SoundHound Inc., the leading innovator in voice-enabled AI and conversational intelligence technologies, today announced a partnership to power the voice interface for future JBL Professional-branded solutions for hospitality environments.
Powered by SoundHound Inc.’s Houndify voice AI platform and featuring legendary JBL audio performance, the solutions 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 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 Inc. 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,” said Amir Arbabi, VP of Business Development, SoundHound Inc. “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,” said 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.”
SoundHound Inc.’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 Inc.’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. Partners that have registered on the Houndify platform with products integrating Houndify include Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel, Vauxhall, Nvidia, Samsung, Onkyo, Motorola and more. Developers interested in exploring the Houndify platform can visit Houndify.com to learn more and register.
The Houndify-powered JBL hospitality solution is currently being piloted with a planned product introduction scheduled for 2020. Register at Pro.harman.com/HotelSolutions to receive more information when available.
Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.