U.S. Army Intelligent Virtual Assistant Made by Next IT Comes to iOS Devices
Spokane, WA August 13, 2014: The U.S. Army’s popular Intelligent Virtual Assistant, SGT STAR – created by Next IT, a leading provider of Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) technology – is now available for download in the App Store for all iOS mobile devices. The SGT STAR app brings advanced virtual assistant capabilities to anyone interested in information about the U.S. Army.
The app is the first virtual assistant from Next IT to become available on iOS and takes full advantage of Next IT’s conversation-based interface and artificial intelligence platform, combining deep domain expertise with natural language processing and contextual intent understanding. With the SGT STAR mobile app, natural voice-input capabilities allow users to ask questions and receive accurate answers about U.S. Army life and the enlistment process. In addition, the app is integrated with the U.S. Army’s existing mobile content.
“This is the beginning of an age of truly intelligent mobile assistants that not only understand what you mean to say, but respond with answers based on deep expertise on a particular subject area,” said Rick Collins, Next IT EVP, Enterprise Business. “Our assistants like SGT STAR represent the innovation and evolution we are driving beyond the first generation of mobile virtual assistants that did little more than unite speech recognition to existing smart phone features. We’re creating the future of conversation-based customer experience with our intelligent mobile platforms.”
Next IT has plans to develop many more enterprise assistants that can be deployed virtually anywhere using its intelligent Alme platform. With over a decade of experience, Next IT has built IVAs with functionality that ranges from providing general information to delivering highly personalized service. Along with the U.S Army’s SGT STAR, Next IT has developed assistants for major healthcare providers, airlines and banks, including Aetna, Amtrak, Alaska Airlines, BECU and others.
“We’re excited to bring the SGT STAR mobile experience to millions of people in the App Store,” said Cleat Grumbly, Next IT SVP, Government and Travel. “The positive user response to the SGT STAR web and mobile interfaces and the resulting increase in the quality of interactions shows that our platform works and provides meaningful, positive experiences for users and organizations.”
Features of the SGT STAR iOS App include:
- Answers to all questions about the constantly updated set of U.S. Army job opportunities
- Accurate speech understanding and natural language processing of microphone input
- Navigation for users to the nearest recruiting stations via iOS mapping integration
- Communication and email contact with the U.S. Army at any given time
- Navigation to the U.S. Army website
- Ability for users to share answers on Facebook
In 2006, the U.S. Army contracted with Next IT to create Ask SGT STAR, a virtual guide to U.S. Army life that engages potential recruits online, answering questions about enlistment, jobs, the ROTC, training, the U.S. Army Reserve and more. To date, SGT STAR has answered over 14 million questions in 3.5 million sessions and now averages 4,000 questions per day.
Since introducing Ask SGT STAR, the U.S. Army has seen a dramatic increase in both the length and the quality of user interactions on goarmy.com. In 2011, the U.S. Army renewed their contract with Next IT to meet their goals for goarmy.com, which include reaching a growing audience, preserving the intimacy of personal voice-driven experiences and increasing efficiency through the integration of online assets.