8th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Geneva, Switzerland
September 1-4, 2003


SYNFACE - A Talking Face Telephone

Inger Karlsson (1), Andrew Faulkner (2), Giampiero Salvi (1)

(1) KTH, Sweden
(2) University College London, U.K.

The SYNFACE project has as its primary goal to facilitate for hearing-impaired people to use an ordinary telephone. This will be achieved by using a talking face connected to the telephone. The incoming speech signal will govern the speech movements of the talking face, hence the talking face will provide lip-reading support for the user. The project will define the visual speech information that supports lip-reading, and develop techniques to derive this information from the acoustic speech signal in near real time for three different languages: Dutch, English and Swedish. This requires the development of automatic speech recognition methods that detect information in the acoustic signal that correlates with the speech movements. This information will govern the speech movements in a synthetic face and synchronise them with the acoustic speech signal. A prototype system is being constructed. The prototype contains results achieved so far in SYNFACE. This system will be tested and evaluated for the three languages by hearing-impaired users. SYNFACE is an IST project (IST-2001-33327) with partners from the Netherlands, UK and Sweden. SYNFACE builds on experiences gained in the Swedish Teleface project.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Karlsson, Inger / Faulkner, Andrew / Salvi, Giampiero (2003): "SYNFACE - a talking face telephone", In EUROSPEECH-2003, 1297-1300.