NCR has followed up its Internet microwave project with another innovative idea - the talking cashpoint.
NCR’s Advanced Solution Concepts Lab in Scotland has developed a cashpoint, codenamed Stella, that says 'hello', listens to requests and even remembers birthdays.
Instead of Pin numbers, the cashpoint uses voice and iris recognition for security and operation, methods NCR claims are more secure and unobtrusive for customers.
Stella, which is currently being tested in Canada, uses speech recognition and synthesis technology to listen to customer requests for specific transactions and information. It responds in a simulated human voice.
Customers can download bank statements and receipts onto handheld computers and mobile phones from the machine.
To start a banking transaction, a customer stands on a pressure-sensitive mat that triggers the the cashpoint. Stella asks the customer to look straight ahead and the customer is recognised and security verified through iris-recognition technology.
Once the customer is identified, Stella speaks to the customer by name and asks them to select a banking transaction by speaking it. At the end of the session, Stella says goodbye to the customer by name.
NCR is planning to offer additional ecommerce services via Stella, including morgage payments and airline ticket purchasing.
However, NCR said that it will be some time before talking cashpoints overtake traditional machines.
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