What is HD Voice ?
HD Voice, also known as Widband Audio, is new voice quality for telephony audio which has high definition voice quality compared to existing ‘telco grade’ or toll quality audio. To be technically correct, in 1950s, it was thought that ‘human voice’ frequency is between 300 to 3400 Hz and so, in both transmitter and receiver end, a band pass filter was used to allow frequencies of this range to pass, rest get blocked. This also helped sampling of voice at 8Khz, resulting in low bit rate which is suitable for transmission. With recent technological advances, this constraint has been overcome and now telephone network can accept HD Voice with 50-7000Hz frequency band or even more at both receiver and transmitter end.
Many mobile phones support HD voice now a days and it is estimated that all telecom networks will start supporting HD voice after 2014. All 3G Networks normally support HD Voice and in India, Tata Docommo had launched HD Voice in 2010. It is expected that HD Voice will be supported even in 2G network in coming years soon.
How will HD Voice help IVR ?
HD Voice, with its superior voice quality is going to help IVR ( Interactive Voice Response) systems in many ways.
1. More Human Voice in IVR
Presently, thanks to telco grade voice quality in telecom network, people can easily identify a recorded voice in IVR. Many people just don’t feel like ‘talking to’ a machine ie IVR. With better voice quality, we can hope that IVR will be more pleasant to transact and use.
2. Better Speech Recognition
With HD Voice, we can hope to improve rate of successful speech recognition. Presently, speech recognition engines struggle to recognize speech due to poor voice quality of telephony network. HD Voice will help improve accuracy of speech recogntion in IVR and make IVR more pleasant to deal with.
3. Heavily accented voice
Heavily accented voice will be more recognizable with use of HD voice in IVR. Some letters like ‘m’, ‘n’ ‘p’ ‘t’ requires high frequency and HD voice will help recgnise them easily.
So,w e can hope that availability of HD voice in our telephone network will help IVR industry. It surely will make man-machine interface through telephone more pleasant!