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Personalized speech output for communication devices

Award Information

Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Branch:
N/A
Award ID:
66270
Program Year/Program:
2007 / 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 2
Fiscal Year: 2007
Title: Personalized speech output for communication devices
Agency: HHS
Contract: 2R42DC006193-03A2
Award Amount: $839,438.00
 

Abstract:

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This project encompasses development and testing of a concatenative text-to-speech (TTS) synthesis system known as ModelTalker and software called InvTool which guides individuals in creating personal synthetic voices f or use with ModelTalker. The overall system is intended to be of particular interest to Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device users who depend upon speech synthesis for communication. In addition to improved naturalness and intelligibilit y, the ModelTalker and InvTool software uniquely offer the capability of rapid development of personal concatenative synthesis voices. With InvTool, individuals such as those with ALS who are at risk of losing the ability to speak can record their own spee ch for conversion to a personal synthetic voice for the ModelTalker TTS system. This voice banking capability has already been used successfully by a number of ALS patients. This Phase II STTR application seeks funding to complete transfer of the ModelTalk er and InvTool technology from the research laboratory in which it was developed to a small business for commercialization. Phase II activities will focus on InvTool and the process of automatically constructing highly intelligible personal synthetic voice s for ModelTalker. In particular, our specific aims for Phase II are: Aim 1 - Enhance the usability of InvTool. We have identified several specific improvements to the InvTool program that will (a) improve general ease of use, (b) improve accessibility for visually impaired users, and (c) simplify the speech recording process, especially for young users and users with more limited vocabulary and literacy skills. Aim 2 - Implement and test novel speech processing techniques to improve the robustness of our a utomatic voice construction process while reducing the storage requirements needed for the speech database. Aim 3 - Evaluate the quality (intelligibility and acceptability) of automatically created voices for a representative sample of individuals who can benefit from this technology recruited through multiple speech clinics around the country. At the completion of Phase II, we will have a) developed a text-to-speech (TTS) system that is usable on all major augmentative communication platforms, b) developed a distributable software and hardware package for automatic personal synthetic voice construction, and c) established clear expectations for the quality of synthetic speech prospective users of this technology can expect to obtain with their personal synt hetic voice.

Principal Investigator:

H. T. Bunnell
3026516835
BUNNELL@ASEL.UDEL.EDU

Business Contact:


penningt@agora-net.com
Small Business Information at Submission:

AGORANET, INC.
AGORANET, INC. 314 E MAIN ST, STE 1 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:
A.I. DUPONT HOSPITAL FOR CHILD
1600 ROCKLAND RD
WILMINGTON, DE 19803 3498
RI Type: Domestic nonprofit research organization