Speech and Language Technology for Disabled Persons

Stockholm, Sweden
May 31 - June 2, 1993

A Tactile System for Speech Listening Based on Phonetic Representation

E. M. Ellis, A. J. Robinson

Cambridge University Engineering Department, Cambridge, UK

Tactile aids have become a useful means for communicating speech information through the sense of touch, particularly for assisting the hearing-impaired in speech listening. Much of the work done by others concentrates on using the raw acoustic speech signal or close derivatives to stimulate the skin as supplementary information to aid in lip reading. The scheme described in this paper presents speech information to the skin as phonetic symbols, which exhibits a much lower information rate. A discussion of phonetic information content is made by re-synthesising the output of a recogniser and the results analysed for intelligibility. Tests are also performed where pulse and pulse-modulated stimuli are applied to the skin to determine the rates at which information can be processed.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ellis, E. M. / Robinson, A. J. (1993): "A tactile system for speech listening based on phonetic representation", In SLTDP-93, 59-62.