Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Synface prototype for Dutch, English and Swedish. A telephony support for Hard-of hearing that picks out the speech movements

The SYNFACE project has developed a prototype system for hard of hearing telephone users. It uses an artificial face to recreate the lip movements of the person at the other end of the telephone line providing lip-reading support to the user. The user will hear the speech of the person at the other end and synchronised with this see the lip movements recreated in an artificial face.

SYNFACE consists of a phoneme, that is speech sound, recogniser and a visual speech synthesiser, that is an artificial talking face. The phoneme recogniser identifies the speech sounds and the face synthesiser then recreates their articulation. The movements of the talking face are synchronised with the audio speech signal and shown on a screen attached to the SYNFACE user's telephone. To use SYNFACE, only the hard of hearing user will need to have the device installed. The SYNFACE prototypes have been evaluated by users in the UK, the Netherlands and Sweden. The results are very encouraging; a large majority of the hard of hearing people who have tried SYNFACE to date have found it helpful and effective. Further results will be published on the project homepage

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