The World's First Trilingual Speech-enabled Automatic Gas Meter Reporting Hotline System
Established in Hong Kong in 1886, the Hong Kong and China Gas Company ("Towngas") is the sole supplier of heating gas to commercial and residential customers in Hong Kong. Its long service to the public has made it one of the community's most recognized companies.
As the volume of gas accounts expands rapidly, Towngas recognized the need to enhance its communication channel with its customers. The company wanted to employ a more cost-effective method to collect accurate billing information, enhance customer service, and reduce the operating costs of onsite meter recording.
In July 1997, InfoTalk developed the world's first trilingual speech understanding application for Towngas - the Automated Gas Meter Reporting Hotline System. With this system in place, customers are able to call the hotline from any phone 24 hours a day and report their gas usage. InfoTalk's advanced conversational speech understanding engine, InfoTalk-Recognizer
, recognizes the account numbers and meter readings in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. As a result, Towngas enjoys reduced costs of maintaining a labor-intensive onsite meter reading operation and is able to collect more accurate gas billing information.
- Speaker-independent conversational speech understanding
- Powerful phonetic and syllabic models
- Tri-modal design: incorporating speech recognition, touch-tone and dial-pulse
- Scalable client-server architecture
- Languages include: English, Mandarin and Cantonese
User-friendly & convenient:
Towngas customers can report their own gas usage by simply speaking over any landline or wireless phone, 24 hours a day throughout the year.
Multi-cultural customer care:
The system provides a range of languages including English, Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese to serve customers with different cultural backgrounds and language needs.
Customers enjoy a high level of convenience. By using this system, it takes customers only about one minute to report their quarterly gas meter reading.
Customers can avoid miscalculated gas bills and the frustration of being overcharged or given an under-estimated bill.
With this new speech-enabled Automatic Gas Meter Reporting Hotline System, Towngas is able to significantly reduce the labor costs for maintaining a large group of meter readers.
The InfoTalk system is completely self-maintained. It does not require any special operation and runs around-the-clock without operator attention or interference.