Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
Public announcements in noisy places - such as railway stations, airports, or sports venues - could become quieter and clearer in future, thanks to new research.
Scientists have developed software that can alter speech before it is broadcast over speakers, making it more audible amid background noise.
In a bid to improve current synthetic voice technology, researchers studied how speech was perceived by listeners. They carried out tests to pinpoint the components of speech that are most easily heard by people in a noisy place.
Experts at the University of Edinburgh, who carried out the study, say that in loud situations, listeners pay most attention the parts of speech that are easiest to hear, and use those to decipher what is being said.
Researchers developed a mathematical computer program to analyse spoken words and enhance the sounds that help listeners hear what is being said, to make speech better understood overall.
In tests, the manipulated speech was found to be much easier to understand than natural speech. In some cases, the improvement was the equivalent of lowering noise by five decibels. Scientists say that the techniques used in this study could also be used to improve smartphone voices, loudspeaker announcements or sat-nav systems.
Dr Cassia Valentini Botinhao of the University of Edinburgh's School of Informatics, who conducted the study, said: "Noisy environments make it difficult to understand what is being said and simply making speech louder isn't the smartest solution. Our findings could offer an alternative, by making speech more intelligible without turning up the volume."
The study, carried out with scientists from Greece, Spain and Sweden, was funded by the EU, and presented at the recent Interspeech 2013 conference in Lyon.
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Hearing / Deafness category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
University of Edinburgh. "Synthetic speech system puts a dampener on noisy announcements." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 11 Sep. 2013. Web.
6 Dec. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/265868>
University of Edinburgh. (2013, September 11). "Synthetic speech system puts a dampener on noisy announcements." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/265868.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2013 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.