Does Unibet’s talkie gambling interface signal the beginning of the end for traditional apps?

Does Unibet’s talkie gambling interface signal the beginning of the end for traditional apps?

Thursday, April 21, 2016 Totally Gaming
Will Mace said voice will grow considerably in importance in the mobile gaming sphere

Unibet has told TotallyGaming.com that its launch of speech-enabled betting could be the first step towards the decline of traditional websites and apps.

The gaming operator this week announced the addition of a speech-enabled intelligent interactive feature to its sports betting application, with UK customers using iOS devices now able to use the interface to wager on football.

Using Teneo’s Artificial Solutions’ Natural Language Interaction (NLI) technology, the customer can say their bet out loud, with the app organising the bet for them, before guiding the punter to the stage where the wager is actually placed.

Unibet’s head of strategic development Will Mace told TotallyGaming.com the company’s new platform was influenced by technology giants such as Apple and Google focusing increasingly on voice-activated services.

“We see this very much as a building block, a first step on a path of artificial intelligence, bots, wearables, always on devices and the decline of traditional websites and apps,” said Mace. “It is early days for many of these technologies but beginning to investigate and explore them now positions us well for the future.

“There are all sorts of predictions around the potential size of the voice recognition market but it seems to be widely agreed that voice will grow considerably in importance as an interface technology. The era of talking to technology is coming fast.”

Mace said that the interface would be gradually rolled out across different markets and territories, with Unibet keen to fine-tune the product following a limited launch.

He added that the product has been developed with the idea of improving ease-of-use for customers, explaining that punters often find it difficult to place a bet while also watching sport through live streaming services.

“Making the customer experience as frictionless as possible has long been the focus of many industries – betting is no exception,” he said. “Customers quite rightly don’t want complicated, clunky or multi-step experiences and they will vote with their feet if they are not getting the slick, simple, intuitive and delightful experiences they expect.

“We have all had frustrating experiences where you are asked to enter the same details twice, or you can’t find what you are looking for, or you have to fill in lengthy forms. Customers have increasingly low tolerance for badly put together experiences and this is driving new approaches everywhere. Voice betting is simply one example of trying to create frictionless customer experiences.”

TotallyGaming.com says: “This is a fascinating development, with Unibet at the forefront of what could be a technological breakthrough. It will be interesting to see how the speech-enabled interface is received by Unibet punters, and if other operators quickly follow suit.”

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