BuzzBites: Detect This; Selling iCrack

Call centers are relying on speech-analysis and emotion-detection software. Plus, the software expert who broke Apple's iTunes copy-protection software plans to make a little scratch.

November 3, 2006

1 Min Read
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Detect This!

A growing number of call centers rely on speech-analysis and emotion-detection software. This software examines large volumes of calls for key words and phrases, or changes in a caller's volume and pitch. It analyzes the data to help business owners understand customer motivations and measure levels of satisfaction. Some software can even alert supervisors if a customer's speech pattern deviates from a known good baseline.

Given how frustrating automated answering systems are, a more sensible approach might be to actually hire real humans to take the call. But don't hold your breath; according to Forrester, speech analysis and emotion-detection software is a $400 million market and growing. --Andrew Conry-Murray, [email protected]

Selling iCrackA software expert who broke Apple's iTunes copy-protection software plans to license his technology to third parties. Apple's system, called FairPlay, ensures that users can only play iTunes on iPods.

Jon Lech Johansen, the man responsible for the crack, believes competitors such as Sony and Creative Technology will license his software. This would enable their MP3 players to play iTunes songs, which account for about 88 percent of legally downloaded music.

Aside from the legal complications, it's unlikely that this technology would help rivals gain ground against the iPod. Apple doesn't dominate the market because of its song library. It rules because it makes stylish devices that have cool features. A more effective strategy would be to crack Apple's genius for design. --Andrew Conry-Murray, [email protected]

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