Press release details

Big Shaq and Trainline present world's first voicebot duet

March 6, 2018 at 8:00 AM EST

Trainline launches immersive ‘Voice app rap’ to celebrate new voice app built for the Google Assistant

 

6 March 2018, London, UK Trainline, Europe’s leading independent train ticket retailer and train travel app, has today released a short film featuring the world’s first voicebot duet to celebrate Trainline’s voice app, built for the Google Assistant. The film, available on YouTube and Trainline’s website, features a duet between rap phenomenon Big Shaq and Trainline’s voice app.

 

The film sees Big Shaq, the ‘Man’s Not Hot’ rap character created by comedian Michael Dapaah, go head to head with Trainline’s voice app to highlight how the app can help to simplify people’s rail journey planning.

 

But it’s not just Big Shaq who gets to battle the bot. Anyone who fancies themselves as the nation’s next Skepta, Stormzy, or even Big Shaq himself, can easily find out if their rap skills are up to scratch.   Simply play the video, access Trainline’s voice app through the Google Assistant and spit out some bars to the beat.

 

The behind-the-scenes style film shows how Big Shaq, fresh from a test session in a recording studio, goes about planning his journey home. He opens the Google Assistant and says “OK Google, talk to Trainline” to activate the voice app, only to be greeted with a rapping voicebot who answers all his questions freestyle, resulting in a fun rap duet which leaves Big Shaq satisfied he has all the information he needs to have a successful journey.

 

“Check this. Is there time for a game of Tetris? But yo, I need more info before I hit the road,” Big Shaq raps to Trainline’s voice app about his intended destination, “This train to Margate, what time does it go?” The voice app duly raps back, “6:20 from platform 3. Is there anything else you would like from me?” showcasing the real-time updates that make Big Shaq choose to use the app in the first place.

 

Speaking about the new app functionality and the partnership, David Slocombe, Product Director at Trainline said: “In the world’s first rap duet between a rapper and a Voicebot, Big Shaq put Trainline’s voice app through its paces but it was more than up to the challenge! Trainline’s voice app is a great example of our mission to use smarter technologies to make travel simpler and more hassle-free.” 

 

Michael Dapaah aka Big Shaq had his moment of recognition and garnered public attention after the release of his popular webseries #SWIL (Somewhere in London) in 2017 which laid ground for the Big Shaq persona to debut his hit single ‘Man’s Not Hot’, which shot him to national and international fame after the catchy phrase went viral. He has teamed up with Trainline in this one-off duet to bring its voice app to life.

 

View the video on www.trainline.com and test your own rap skills by opening the voice app through the Google Assistant/Google Home.

 

HOW TO USE TRAINLINE’S VOICE APP

For Android users

  1. On your phone or tablet, touch and hold the Home button or say "Ok Google" (If you haven’t already, turn on "Ok Google" through your settings.)
  2. Say “OK Google, talk to Trainline” or go directly to the information you need by saying “OK Google, ask Trainline how my journey home is looking” or “I’d like to take a train from Manchester to London on 12th March at 9am, are there any changes?”, for example.
  3. Travellers can then ask about journey times and details, prices, delays and disruptions, the weather at their destination or departure point, and more.

For iOS users

  1. iOS users first need to download the Google Assistant app from the App Store.
  2. In your Google Assistant app, say “OK Google, talk to Trainline” or go directly to the information you need by saying “OK Google, ask Trainline how my journey home is looking” or “I’d like to take a train from Manchester to London on 12th March at 9am, are there any changes?”, for example.
  3. Travellers can then ask about journey times and details, prices, delays and disruptions, the weather at their destination or departure point, and more.

 

HOW TO RAP WITH TRAINLINE’S VOICE APP

To have a go yourself, you’ll need two devices – one Google Assistant-enabled device to rap with and one to play the karaoke video on, so you can follow the lyrics. Decide on a journey you’d like to take, perhaps London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly.

  1. Hit play on the video and rap the lyrics into your Google Assistant.
  2. The first line, “OK Google, talk to Trainline” will activate voice search in the Google Assistant app.
  3. When you say, “It’s time to rhyme with my partner in crime, say whaaat?” the rap will begin.
  4. You can then follow the lyrics that appear on your device’s screen and listen as Trainline’s voice app gives you real-time info to a rap beat.

 

MORE ABOUT TRAINLINE’S VOICE APP

Trainline’s voice app combines Trainline’s leading travel technology experience with Google’s conversational platform to make accessing information on the move easier than ever before.

Tranline’s voice app is available through the Google Assistant and allows rail travellers to “talk to Trainline” by asking everyday travel questions about their journey, with real-time updates on details that matter most. The Trainline app for the Google Assistant is available on eligible Android phones, on the Assistant app on iOS, and on Assistant-enabled devices like Google Home and is available for download on compatible iOS devices.

Trainline’s voice app can handle deep conversational complexity, including answering twelve layers of questioning. Users can “talk to Trainline” and make requests such as “I’d like to take a train from Manchester to London on 12th March at 9am”, and then follow up with intuitive questions including:

  • “Are there any changes?”
  • “Who is the train operator?”
  • “What’s the weather at my destination?”
  • “Is this an Off-Peak train?”

Rail commuters who are in a rush to get to and from work can also teach Trainline’s voice app to recognise their commuting patterns from regular places such as home.  The app also has smart built-in features: for example, real-time delays and the time required to walk to or from a station are taken into account when providing answers. A user can simply ask Trainline, “How is my commute home?” or “how is my commute to work?”.

Trainline’s voice app is also created to be used easily on phones. “Cards” in the app show helpful details like the weather or if a train is on time. Additionally, suggestions will pop up to offer phrases that can help users continue the conversation for easy discovery of useful features.

 

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

*Trainline’s voice app is available on the Google Assistant app on iOS and Android. Android users running Android 6.0 and above may have the Google Assistant as part of their Android software.

**Trainline’s voice app is available with the Google Assistant on phones and speakers.

 

For media enquiries contact the Red Consultancy Trainline team at:  TrainlineTeam@redconsultancy.com

 

About Trainline

Trainline is Europe’s leading independent rail and coach platform. We work with 144 rail and coach companies to offer our customers travel to thousands of destinations in and across 36 countries.  Our aim is to bring together all rail, coach and other travel services into one simple experience so customers can get the best prices and smart, real time travel information on the go.

 

What is the Google Assistant?

The Google Assistant helps you get things done. Ask it questions. Tell it to do things. It’s your own personal Google, always ready to help.

 

From the little things like setting an alarm or reminders to calendar, to big things like planning a special occasion or listen to your music playlists during your train ride, just ask for what you need.

 

“Ok Google, remind me to buy a train ticket for Sunday” or “Ok Google, play rock music”.