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Saturday, October 10, 2020

Voice vs Touchscreen at McDonalds

I note below the role of touch in spreading COVID, driving touch technology, but still a matter of public perception.

COVID-19 may push retailers to use voice assistants instead of touch screens By Matthew Stern in Retailwire

While it’s no longer thought to be a primary source of transmission of the novel coronavirus, people are still thinking twice before interacting with public touch screens. Throughout retail, some are seeing voice-driven technology as a perfect solution that lets customers interact with automated kiosks while keeping their hands to themselves.

Circle K, Delaware North, Dunkin’ and White Castle are a few of the retailers who have entered into an agreement with MasterCard to pilot a voice ordering artificial intelligence (AI) for their restaurant drive-thrus. The solution allows customers to speak in natural language and is capable of processing complex orders and substitutions as if the customer were speaking with a human being.

Before the pandemic, chains like McDonald’s had already been looking for ways to blend voice-based automated ordering into their drive-thru experience. In 2019, McDonald’s acquired a speech-based AI startup to gain technology for the effort, according to Mashable SE Asia.

Such voice solutions are appearing in other places where touch screen kiosks have grown familiar. Multiple startups have begun to roll out speech-recognition technology that can be implemented on existing touch screen kiosks in restaurants and retail stores, allowing screen-based kiosks used for ordering, product search and other in-store tasks to reliably take voice commands   ..... '

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