SBIR Phase II: (IT-B5) Feasibility to run novel voice interface on a low-power microcontroller

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0822743
Agency Tracking Number: 0711698
Amount: $500,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: IT
Solicitation Number: NSF 06-598
Small Business Information
2004 Centennial Dr., Great Falls, MT, 59404
DUNS: 788665730
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Seth Cameron
 (801) 474-0134
Business Contact
 Seth Cameron
Title: PhD
Phone: (801) 474-0134
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II research project will implement a miniature information management system that is suitable to the access requirements for visually impaired users. Current information technologies for the visually impaired are slow and difficult to operate while holding a white cane or guide dog. Visually impaired people will benefit greatly from a hands-free/eyes-free information system that is much faster to operate and easier to access. The project will develop a voice-operated personal digital assistant (PDA), called Vivian, which performs 10 times faster than Braille PDAs. The outcome of the Phase I study demonstrated the feasibility of real-time speech processing algorithms on integrated microcontrollers without hardware floating-point arithmetic. The outcome of this Phase II project is anticipated to result in a wearable device similar to a state of the art media player with 10X faster processing and 10X smaller in size. With more than 160 million visually impaired people worldwide, 10 million in the US alone, the proposed research is a critical step towards a device that will address their mobile information management needs significantly better than current alternatives. Moreover, this device should impact mobile information management for sighted people. The results of usability trials with sighted users speaking multiple languages conducted during the Phase I project, indicate that the outcomes of a powerful and fast alternative human computer interface to graphical user interfaces for sighted and visually impaired users. Additionally, this voice technology is suitable for integration into mobile appliances such as mobile phones for which over 300 million were sold in 2007.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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