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HARMAN Professional and SoundHound Inc. join forces to present AI audio solution for hospitality

Powered by SoundHound Inc.’s Houndify voice AI platform and featuring JBL audio solutions, the finished product will provide voice-enabled “smart room” experiences for hotel guests

HARMAN Professional Solutions and SoundHound Inc. have 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 JBL audio solutions, the finished product will provide voice-enabled “smart room” experiences for hotel guests. The convenience of AI-assist technologies will allows guests to feel “at home”.

HARMAN is currently running pilot programmes of the future solution in hotel locations globally. In the pilot, HARMAN’s Houndify-powered JBL Professional prototype speakers enable hotel guests to use their natural, conversational voices to navigate the hotel’s 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 is designed to reduce hotel’s customer service load and times, and improve customer satisfaction. In addition, customisable integration with HARMAN’s Hospitality Cloud AI means the solution can 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.

As well as supplying its Houndify voice AI platform, SoundHound Inc. worked with HARMAN to fine-tune applications specific to a hotel environment. 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 adapted 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,” added Brian Divine, SVP, products and customer solutions, HARMAN Professional Solutions. “As voice-enablement becomes ubiquitous with consumers in their home, having a seamless experience while travelling 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.”

Advantages of SoundHound Inc.’s Houndify voice and conversational AI platform includes its proprietary Speech-to-Meaning and Deep Meaning Understanding technologies. 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 customisation of their user experience 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.

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