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.
- IVVR has a built in business model that comes from the revenue of the incoming calls for the service.
- 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.
- 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.
- Interacting with an IVVR service is easier than interacting with a wap site but not as intuitive as a native app.
- IVVR video quality is poor and can be an issue for some services.
- 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.
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?