JCDecaux uses voice recognition technology in R U OK? campaign

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 7 September 2020

Outdoor specialist JCDecaux, in an industry first, is using an interactive JCDecaux panel that uses voice recognition to trigger both on-screen and verbal responses.

Passers-by are prompted via a floor decal placed in front of the panel as well as an on-screen call to action to ask: “R U OK?”

The panel recognises the phrase and will dispense information on what to say and do if a friend, family member, colleague or peer says they are not OK.

R U OK? Day coincides with World Suicide Prevention Day on Thursday, September 10. The interactive panel is an extension of the R U OK? Day, theme explaining “There’s more to say after R U OK?” JCDecaux will also feature the R U OK? campaign across its national out-of-home network during September.

Ashley Taylor, JCDecaux head of creative solutions: “This campaign provides the space to model a really important conversation. Our interactive street furniture panels can help people learn more about how to have a conversation with someone who is struggling. Understanding audiences are conscious about things that they touch as a result of COVID-19, the voice recognition functionality provides a safe way to continue to deliver meaningful messages, hands free.”

R U OK? campaign director, Gennie Sheer says the generous support from JCDecaux this year has helped encourage more Australians to stay connected during challenging times. 

“It’s important that Australians feel they have the skills to navigate a meaningful conversation especially if someone says they’re not OK,” Sheer says. 

“The JCDecaux interactive activity complements our broader campaign to educate and empower people with the knowledge and confidence to start a conversation that could change a life.” 

The voice activated component of the R U OK? campaign appears on George Street in Sydney’s CBD. 

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