IVV What? oh, IVVR…

So what is IVVR?

IVVR (also known as Video IVR or IV2R) Stands for Interactive Video and Voice Response.
This technology (available only for 3G handsets that can carry a video call) is very similar to the traditional IVR technology (Interactive Voice Response).
On IVR services users call a phone number and interacts with a service using the phone’s dial pad. The service plays the users voice menus/records and the user navigates through the service by pressing the phone’s dial pad.
On an IVVR service instead of just hearing voice menus and records, the user sees a video on his handset screen and interact with the service just like traditional IVR services.
The video can be a graphical menu, a video clip, or even a live video chat with a customer care representative.
IVVR technology enables a new kind of services that until know could only be accomplished by native applications or WAP services, both requires a lot of development and maintenance time while an IVVR service is being developed only once and runs on every 3G handset that can carry a video call.
IVVR v Native app v WAP
From a service provider point of view IVVR technology has some advantages and disadvantages over the native app/wap sites market. I’ll mention some of them.
Advantages:
  1. IVVR has a built in business model that comes from the revenue of the incoming calls for the service.
  2. Marketing a phone number/short code is an easier task than marketing a native app that requires the user to download or a wap site that requires the user to remember a URL.
  3. Users with 3G handsets don’t have to buy a data plan from their carriers so they can use wap sites or native apps that require connectivity to the internet.
Disadvantages:
  1. Interacting with an IVVR service is easier than interacting with a wap site but not as intuitive as a native app.
  2. IVVR video quality is poor and can be an issue for some services.
  3. Users aren’t familiar with this technology and don’t know how to use video calls.
IVVR in Israel
Israel is a pioneer in the field of IVVR.
All four major news channels in Israel has launched an IVVR portal for their video content.
The last one is the Russian channel – Israel Plus (channel 9) that has recently launched an IVVR portal that was developed by the company I work for as the CTO – Pocket Worlds LTD.
On this portal that can be reached by calling *909 using a video call users can watch a live streaming from the channel, recent news, and programs from the channel etc.
Several more IVVR services have launched in Israel, on some of them hopefully I’ll post on a different occasion.
Conclusion
IVVR is a technology that only starts its route.
From my point of view, it’s a very interesting technology that enables new kind of services.
I think that in the near future we will see more and more services based on this technology.
What do you think?
Netanel