Turns out, that when you’re ticked off, you’re ticked off in any language. This is a good thing for startup company eXaudios Technologies. This Israel-based company has developed software that analyzes volume and intonation changes in a person’s voice and translates that information into statements about the speaker’s feelings and intent. (“You feel disrespect and rejection.” “Patronizing.”) It unveiled this technology in Palm Springs this week at DEMOSpring2010, demonstrating the system live in both English and Hebrew.
EXAudios is planning to sell this technology into call centers, where it can be used to monitor customers and agents, allowing supervisors to step in when a customer’s anger is mounting and, ideally, turn the call around. The technology has other applications—screening for Parkinson’s and other diseases, Homeland Security, but the company thinks it will take off most quickly in the call center world.
This company had all the right stuff—cool technology and an obvious market niche. I can see it having a positive effect on my life—the next time I call Verizon to complain about bizarre charges on my cell phone bill, someone who can actual do something might step into the conversation sooner rather than later.
And I wasn’t the only one who was impressed—eXaudios won the People’s Choice Award—a million dollars worth of advertising on IDG properties.
Tekla S. Perry is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., she's been covering the people, companies, and technology that make Silicon Valley a special place for more than 40 years. An IEEE member, she holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University.