Voiceless Speech Recognition
Giving ‘Voice to the Voiceless’
Voice is the primary method of face-to-face communication – someone speaks, someone listens. There are situations, however, where voice-based communication is not possible – either the person cannot speak in the normal sense or the listener cannot hear what is being spoken.
Liopa is developing a communication aid to assist those who have lost the ability to speak, but who can move their lips normally. The application will initially be targeted at Tracheostomy patients and will allow users to ‘speak’ a selection of pre-defined phrases.
The on-device client captures a video of person ‘speaking’ which is then uploaded to Liopa’s cloud-based Visual Speech Recognition (VSR) engine, LipRead, for processing. The correct phrase is returned and displayed/played on smartphone.
Software-based mobile app that can be deployed on commodity smartphone/tablets, making it very cost efficient, relative to bespoke hardware-based alternatives
The supported phrase list can be updated
Continued use of the service will improve phrase selection accuracy
Improving Well Being
Allows the ‘voiceless’ to better integrate with the world around them, improving morale and reducing inherent frustrations.
The application is being trialed in two UK hospitals (Royal Preston and Royal Victoria) mid-2019.
Voiceless Speech Recognition also has applications in scenarios where speech is possible, but can be heard/processed. Smart factories, the key building blocks of the Industry 4.0 initiative, advocate the use of voice for the Man Machine Interface (MMI). When compared to legacy keyword/mouse interaction, the use of voice to control machinery is quicker, more reliable and allows the operator to keep their eyes and hands on the job. In these industrial settings, however, the level of noise can be such that the operator’s voice cannot be heard and audio-based voice control performs very poorly. By equipping the machine with a basic camera, control using Voiceless Speech Recognition becomes a viable option, especially as such machines are typically controlled by a predefined set of commands.