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from the Plum Voice IVR Glossary
Interactive voice response (IVR) applications use the barge-in feature to limit (or not in some cases) when a user would be able to put in information into the application. Setting the barge-in to be true would allow the user to interrupt prompts in favor of accepting touch tone (DTMF) or speech input (ASR). This is preferable if the users are experienced or accustomed to the system to allow for quick navigation to the information or section they are attempting to reach.
It is not always a good thing to allow all prompts to be barged. You would not want the users to unintentionally skip sections when the application is reciting data such as confirmation numbers, balances, or any “critical data” that the user needs to hear. The barge-in scope can be set for certain prompts or for the entire application.
Barge-in also has applications within conference calls. It allows a user to join an active call through the use of an authorization code the user enters either via touch tone or speech input.
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