Voice Response System

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What Does Voice Response System Mean?

A voice response system (VRS) is a computer interface which responds to voice commands, instead of responding to inputs from a mouse or a keystroke.


It is a type of speech synthesis where sentences are organized by concatenating pre-recorded words saved in a database. Contrary to a text-to-speech (TTS) system, a voice response system functions using limited vocabulary in scenarios where the sentences or phrases formed adhere to a strict predetermined sequence.

Techopedia Explains Voice Response System

VRS is ideal for visually impaired or other physically impaired persons. Since these people cannot access a normal mouse or keyboard, being able to instruct a computer how to proceed can be a revelation for them. Another important use is record keeping.

Also, with the help of some software protocols, data entry can be made voice-activated. This allows users to input data without using their hands. A good number of people are interacting with VRS systems each day, more than they notice.

Whenever callers dial a financial institution or a travel agency or a catalog company, the first thing they hear is an electronic voice asking a question and prompting for an answer. Depending on what the callers affirm, their requests are converted by the central computer into specific actions.

In certain scenarios, a complete telephonic experience may occur via voice response. One downside of this type of experience is that it does not permit responses outside the parameters programmed in the software. If the callers ask a question that is outside the approved list, then they may not receive a response that they are looking for.

Financial institutions often use VRS systems to restrict undesired access to accounts or information. VRS systems in these financial institutions are programmed to respond only to specific voice patterns and passwords.

VRS systems have evolved in such a way that users can make use of their voices to activate and operate software applications. Some applications are presently available for VRS systems to operate standard household activities, such as turning lights and fans on and off or closing and opening a garage door.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.