The information: RealNetworks launched a brand new product Wednesday aimed toward blocking robocalls, that are on the rise and have grow to be the highest shopper grievance to the FCC.
The tech: Known as KONTXT for VOICE, the software program makes use of AI fashions which can be educated to foretell whether or not an inbound name is spam based mostly on an evaluation of voice and intent. Two “main” telecom corporations are utilizing early variations of the product. It builds off KONTXT tech that RealNetworks launched in 2017 to assist cellular carriers work out easy methods to prioritize textual content message supply. In a press launch, RealNetworks mentioned it goals “to guide the cost within the battle in opposition to pricey spam and fraud.”
The issue: Robocalls had been up 26% year-over-year in February, in response to RoboKiller. A report from Hiya — a Seattle startup that additionally develops tech to dam spam calls — famous that scammers exploited the COVID-19 disaster with varied scams. Final week the FCC fined two telemarketers $225 million, the most important fantastic in its historical past. Fraud calls should not solely inconvenient but additionally trigger monetary ramifications.
The enterprise: KONTXT for VOICE is the newest product from RealNetworks. The longstanding Seattle-based digital media firm grew to become recognized for its streaming media expertise and gaming arm. In 2018 the corporate rolled out its SAFR facial recognition software program that’s now getting used for public well being compliance amid the pandemic.
The corporate’s income for 2020 was $68.1 million, up 3%. RealNetworks mentioned income from two key progress areas — its facial recognition expertise and free-to-play cellular video games — rose 110% on the 12 months. Internet loss for 2020 was $4.8 million, an enchancment over its web lack of $15.1 million the 12 months earlier than.