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Personalizing Speech Output for Communication Devices

Award Information

Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Branch:
N/A
Award ID:
66270
Program Year/Program:
2003 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
DC006193
Solicitation Year:
N/A
Solicitation Topic Code:
N/A
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Small Business Information
AGORANET, INC.
AGORANET, INC. 314 E MAIN ST, STE 1 NEWARK, DE 19711
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: Personalizing Speech Output for Communication Devices
Agency: HHS
Contract: 1R41DC006193-01
Award Amount: $199,852.00
 

Abstract:

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): ModelTalker is a text-to-speech synthesis (TTS) system intended to be of particular interest to potential Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device users. Most present AAC devices use TTS software that derives from rule-based formant synthesis algorithms developed in the 1970s, but modern concatenative synthesis systems (of which ModelTalker is an example) can provide much more natural sounding synthetic speech of equal or higher intelligibility. Additionally, while rule-based formant synthesis typically produces speech resembling no particular speaker, concatenative synthesis affords the possibility of capturing the voice of a specific individual because it is based on sampling the speech of an individual speaker. This capability to produce personalized, unique, synthetic voices is one of the strongest attractions of concatenative synthesis for AAC device users. This STTR application seeks funding to transfer the ModelTalker TTS technology from the research laboratory in which it was developed to a small business for the purpose of commercialization. In the transfer process, specific enhancements to the synthesis software are proposed, and a new voice will be developed to (a) demonstrate that the ModelTalker TTS system is competitive with existing TTS systems in terms of both naturalness and intelligibility, and (b) provide one of several default voices that will ship with a commercial version of the system. Long Term goals for this project are to bring the method for personalizing synthetic "voices" to the general AAC population by packaging the ModelTalker engine with voice creation tools currently being developed. It is anticipated that this technology will have broader appeal for applications in which people want a unique synthetic voice (e.g. educational software and email dictation).

Principal Investigator:

Timothy H. Bunnell

Business Contact:


3022242475
Small Business Information at Submission:

Agoranet, Inc.
102 E MAIN ST, STE 303 102 E MAIN ST, STE 303 Newark, DE 19711

EIN/Tax ID: 510373241
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
ALFRED I. DU PONT HOSP FOR CHILDREN
1600 ROCKLAND RD
WILMINGTON, DE 19803
RI Type: Domestic nonprofit research organization