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10/11/2015 CereProc and Aristech GmbH Announce Major Partnership Win in Austria

CereProc and long term German partner Aristech GmbH - a leading supplier in the field of natural man-machine interaction - have successfully won a long term contract with Austrian Federal Railways (OBB) to equip all Austrian stations with a combination of Aristech and CereProc technologies.

OBB Group is Austria's greatest transport network, every year 469 million people board OBB's transport systems. It has been estimated that 1.3 million travellers per day use OBB's transport system to travel safely to their destination.

In the last 36 years, well established actress, Chris Lohner has been the voice of OBB. Aristech were able to create a synthetic version of Lohner's voice using CereProc's Voice Creation Kit (VCK). The bilingual TTS voice can read announcements in both English and German. OBB will use CereProc's cServers to deploy the synthetic voice in OBB's announcement systems on trains and buses as well as contact centres. OBB also plan to include the synthetic voice in their ticket machines and their website to improve accessibility.

The synthetic voice is currently only deployed in Vienna's main train station and airport; OBB plan to release the TTS voice in various train stations in Austria in the near future. Lohner's synthetic voice has received a positive reception from OBB's customers so far.

By creating a synthetic version of Lohner's voice it will be much more cost effective solution for OBB in the long run and allow them to be more flexible too. New audio announcements can be generated in house rather then requiring the voice artist to come in to the studio to record whenever there is a change in the schedule. OBB can also retain the voice that has represented the brand for the past three decades.

CereProc's CEO Paul Welham Is thrilled with the latest win, "CereProc's TTS voices are deployed in various transportation systems such as London Gatwick and German railways, plus even an ET ride in Florida, so I'm thrilled that OBB has chosen to work with Aristech to use CereProc's VCK to create a synthetic version of Chris's voice. The bid was won against strong competition from other vendors. But Aristech and CereProc understood the importance of retaining Lohner's personality and emotion in the voice, as her voice has represented the OBB brand for so long."

Next time you are in Vienna's main train station or airport make sure you keep an ear out for Chris's voice!