9th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brisbane, Australia
September 22-26, 2008

Hearing at Home - Communication Support in Home Environments for Hearing Impaired Persons

Jonas Beskow (1), Björn Granström (1), Peter Nordqvist (1), Samer Al Moubayed (1), Giampiero Salvi (1), Tobias Herzke (2), Arne Schulz (3)

(1) KTH, Sweden; (2) HorTech, Germany; (3) OFFIS, Germany

The Hearing at Home (HaH) project focuses on the needs of hearingimpaired people in home environments. The project is researching and developing an innovative media-center solution for hearing support, with several integrated features that support perception of speech and audio, such as individual loudness amplification, noise reduction, audio classification and event detection, and the possibility to display an animated talking head providing real-time speechreading support. In this paper we provide a brief project overview and then describe some recent results related to the audio classifier and the talking head. As the talking head expects clean speech input, an audio classifier has been developed for the task of classifying audio signals as clean speech, speech in noise or other. The mean accuracy of the classifier was 82%. The talking head (based on technology from the SynFace project) has been adapted for German, and a small speech-in-noise intelligibility experiment was conducted where sentence recognition rates increased from 3% to 17% when the talking head was present.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Beskow, Jonas / Granström, Björn / Nordqvist, Peter / Al Moubayed, Samer / Salvi, Giampiero / Herzke, Tobias / Schulz, Arne (2008): "Hearing at home - communication support in home environments for hearing impaired persons", In INTERSPEECH-2008, 2203-2206.