Archive for January, 2008

Announcement: Vocal Expo, June 17 2008, Paris, France

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

See the Vocal Expo website.

Job: Freelance Java Developer (VoiceXML) in Brussels, Belgium

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

See the Stepstone job ad.

Nine out of ten Belgians trust biometrics for identity verification

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

According to a survey conducted by Unisys in seven European countries, 89% of the Belgian interviewees find “[it is] acceptable for a trusted organization such as [a] bank, credit card provider, health care provider or governmental organization to use biometrics such as [their] voice or fingerprints to verify [their] identity”. The Belgian respondents’ primary reasons for this overwhelmingly positive attitude towards biometrics are more convenience (73%), better security (42%), higher speed of the identity verification process (45%) and privacy protection (15%).

Ranked by acceptance, Belgium is followed by France (86%), Sweden (81%), The Netherlands (73%), Germany (68%) and Italy (61%).

Two years ago, Dexia Bank of Belgium launched a speaker verification system for its private banking customers. My role in this project included general speech technology assistance to the project leader, expectation management, VUI development, technical integration of the speaker verfication engine with the application, and usability testing.

Dexia’s early experience with speaker verification was followed a few months later by Dutch ABN AMRO’s announcement of their voice verification initiative. At the recent Voice Biometrics Conference in London, ABM AMRO confirmed plans to roll out the voice verification option to their complete 4 million customer base in the coming year.

Hat tip: Philippe Poux (BlogVocalExpo)

Announcement: 2nd Belgian Speech Technology Seminar, Feb. 12, 2008

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

Next month, the Speech Technology Workgroup organizes its second half-day seminar on “Speech Applications: Customer Experiences in Belgium”. The first edition in November 2006 already attracted a sizeable audience, so to accommodate the expected larger turnout the organizers chose as new venue Belgacom Towers, next to Brussels North Station. The event takes place on Tuesday Feb. 12, 2008 in the afternoon.

Tom Houwing, director of VoiceAndVision, will provide the introductory and closing note. In between, speakers from Belgacom (Lisa/1234 + Call Center), BeTV, Leroy Merlin and the Royal Meteorological Institute will present specific customer implementations. The seminar languages will be Dutch, French and/or English.

The event is sponsored by Acapela,, DBScape, Genesys, Nuance, Quentris and The Ring Ring Company. Access is free, but preregistration is required. For more details, visit the registration page, where you will also find a detailed programme and time schedule.

See you there!