Sometimes it seems that people are speaking too fast to us. Sometimes they even speak fast to us in a foreign language. We often don’t have enough time to catch phone numbers, dates or other important information. And they don’t have time to repeat it!
Finally there is a technology that can help. EasyListen™ dynamically slows down the incoming speech making it natural and understandable. While “time stretching” technologies for speech modification have been known for a long time (see here for example), EasyListen™ is more complicated and intelligent than classical approaches. The key is the word “dynamically” and herein are the main differences:
- EasyListen™ is a real time technology. Inevitably slowing down an audio signal in real time means a delay is accumulating fast. In any real voice conversation such accumulated delay must be compensated at some moment without missing important parts of the speech. Pauses occur in each real conversation and shortening such pauses is used to reduce the delay. But what if a person continuously speaks fast with no interrupts. In this case EasyListen™ will gradually stop slowing his/her monolog when the maximal allowed delay is exceeded.
- EasyListen™ does not stretch tones, noises and other irrelevant sounds.
- EasyListen™ does not slow down all parts of the speech equally. It performs a sophisticated speech analysis and stretches only those parts that are important for understanding, but just too fast and only slows to the extent that is necessary. Consequently, different vowels, plosives and fricatives are not stretched in an equal manner. And some sounds that that do not require stretching are not processed at all. For example such continuous sounds as “Aaaa”, “yee”, “Mmm” etc. are not stretched.
EasyListen™ technology is language independent and works equally well with Western and Eastern tonal languages.
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EasyListen™ output - while the length of the dialog has not increased significantly, the intelligibility has certainly improved:
EasyListen™ output - slowing her down by 15% (on average), makes the content much more intelligible:
Consumer voice communication (mobile and cordless phones, Bluetooth headsets), professional voice communication (e.g. communication between foreign pilots and control tower), radio receivers, voice recorders, voice mailboxes, and conferencing systems with synchronous translation.
Alango EasyListen™ is available as a standalone package. It is also seamlessly integrated with other Alango technologies into one Voice Communication Package (VCP), including echo cancellation, stationary and transient noise suppression, dynamic range compressor, automatic volume and equalization control, speech enhancement, (optional) adaptive dual microphone and several other functions.