TECHNOLOGY company Wight Computers has developed a bespoke digital voice assistant for Wightlink.

It will provide Wightlink customers with up-to-the-minute details about the service status of their ferries and FastCat sailings, increasing accessibility to sailing information also available on Wightlink’s website.

To fulfil the brief of providing the best possible customer experience, the Wight Computers software development team created an Amazon Alexa Skill and a Google Assistant Action which works with Wightlink’s existing data feeds to bring the service status information to more people.

Lead software developer, John Collingwood, explained: “Many people, particularly those with disabilities, use voice assistants to answer almost any question, play music, tell the news and control smart home devices.

"Now with one simple question they can access vital travel service status information by simply saying, “Talk to Wightlink…” on Google, or “Ask Wightlink…” on Alexa.

"This is after enabling the Wightlink Skill which can be searched for under ‘Skills’ in the Alexa App.”

Stuart James, marketing and innovation director at Wightlink, said: “We’ve linked Amazon Alexa and Google Home to our live service status so customers can find out the time of their next sailing, and if there are any delays, by simply asking their voice-controlled smart speaker.

"Google Assistant can also be used by drivers to control their vehicle's entertainment system, which is great news for regular travellers.

“It has been a real pleasure to work closely with an Island business on this concept. Team members at Wight Computers have provided amazing technology to make it easier for our customers to find the information they need.”

Managing director of Wight Computers, Andrew Nordbruch, said: “Voice technology is becoming the norm now and it opens up many innovative opportunities and possibilities for businesses across all sectors.

"We have thoroughly enjoyed working on this voice project and are excited to offer this bespoke software service to create other applications using these major platforms.”