New Technology from Sensory Allows English Lessons on Handheld Devices

/>HONG KONG — Sensory Inc. announced its new patent-applied-for English language training technology that is implemented on chips. The new technology is being introduced in Hong Kong at Sensory's "Designing a Voice User Interface" seminar.

The Chinese government has mandated that all service employees learn English by the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing . This has caused a rapidly growing market to emerge for handheld language training devices. Typically, these language trainers use chips to play samples of the English phrases and to allow a Chinese speaker to compare his/her recorded voice with that of the English speaker.  Sensory's new technology performs an analysis of the Chinese speaker's phrases so the speaker can get feedback on the pronunciation.

A phrase is recorded into a handheld device and the technology analyzes the phrase's phonemic content, which is compared with that in stored templates of the properly spoken phrase. Playback of the recorded phrase can be sped up or slowed down, and an LED or LCD display can provide feedback on the quality of the spoken phrase during playback in order that the user can visually assess the performance. Settings can be adjusted to switch between a "lenient" instructor and a "tough" instructor, and training phrases can be cycled through to find specific phrases or general areas to practice, for example: shopping, business, socializing, etc.

Sensory has chosen to rollout and showcase its language training technology on the RSC-4x Family. This family of integrated circuits (IC's) has the ability to support a variety of speech technologies on an 8-bit microcontroller core. The RSC-4x Family is supported by a suite of tools including, assembler, C-Compiler, debugger, and voice coding tools (QT2SI vocabulary generator, Quick Synthesis speech compressor, etc.).

Edgar Chau, managing director of product development house Cyber-Workshop says "We are familiar with the RSC-4x Family of IC's, and we see much demand from our customers for this new language training technology. The Beta unit we received from Sensory worked quite well and we are sure to have many designs for 2005."

Sensory plans to bring its language training technology to other embedded platforms, including the ARM line of microcontroller products popular in cell-phones.

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