SingTel launches digital concierge app

Location-aware app allows Singapore users to find local information and make bookings, and includes voice recognition technology that's tested to understand local accent, says company.

SINGAPORE--Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) has released a mobile application targeted at local users, allowing them to search for location-relevant information and make bookings for services.

In a statement Tuesday, the telco said the app is immediately available via the Apple Appe Store and Android Market. Called "DeF!nd ", it allows users to book taxis, make restaurant reservations, buy movie tickets, locate ATMs, medical clinics and other essential amenities, including nearby dining options, as well as access information on shopping deals, business directories and updates on local events.

SingTel Singapore CEO Allen Lew said the app leverages the telco's three-year experience in the local digital service business as well as its inSing.com Web site's directory of 5,000 restaurants, 7,000 hawker locations and 150,000 business listings.

The company also touted the app's voice recognition capability to help users find local food and ethnic restaurants. A user can say the names of the food they are looking for and the app will provide a list of eateries near the user's location, SingTel said.

Lew said: "We have spent a lot of effort to ensure the app is able to understand the way Singaporeans speak English, and this sets 'DeF!nd' apart from other voice recognition apps that have been developed abroad."

Apple, for one, recently introduced its voice recognition technology, Siri, which is built into its iPhone 4S devices.

According to Lew, SingTel has been trialing the service with "a few hundred subscribers" for the past four weeks and found customers' engagement with the application "very encouraging".

"We expect significant takeup of this service and are committed to enhancing it continuously to meet the needs of our mobile customers," he added.

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