Sonntag, 18. März 2018

Innovative hands-free speech control


Use your voice and Smart Homes will “LISTEN” – EU project to provide intelligent assistance system


Wouldn't it be convenient to control your roller shutters, doors and sun protection systems anywhere in your home by just using your voice, without any device in your hand? The EU project "LISTEN" creates a robust, hands-free speech control interface for smart home systems.

 - Voice recognition in real-time and in four languages: the EU project „LISTEN“
Voice recognition in real-time and in four languages: the EU project „LISTEN“

To develop such a novel smart home functionality, speech technology and signal processing experts from Germany, Greece, and Italy collaborate in the EU project “LISTEN” – “Hands-free Voice-enabled Interface to Web Applications for Smart Home Environments”. They are designing a system enabling robust hands-free large-vocabulary voice-based access to Internet applications in smart homes. An important function is the use of a microphone array, which is a matchbox-size unit with 8 microphones. An industry partner provides a speech recognition system and refine their tools for the project. For example, the speech recognition can also – in contrast to the current approach of large providers – be installed locally, which is a prerequisite for enforcing strong privacy rules. In the mid-term project review meeting the project partners demonstrated the system in four languages (English, German, Greek, and Italian). The EU project officer Alina Suhetzki experienced “LISTEN” by herself. Speaking her commands in English, she switched the lights on and off in a blink. “This was an impressive demonstration”, she said. “A small and smart system that works in real-time with four languages and can also be adapted to further languages.”

“LISTEN” is part of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) program, in the HORIZON 2020 framework. The other project partners are the RWTH Aachen University, Germany, an Italian speech recognition specialist, and the Greek Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH), who coordinates the project.