Waveform Enhances Vowel Recognition in Speech Apps

Waveform Communication has developed a new speech recognition engine that correctly identifies 91 percent of vowels across 45 speakers. The engine was built by interns Binhao Lin and Ellen Wongso, students in Purdue University's College of Science.

The first applications developed from the Waveform Communication engine will focus on "Yes/No" responses from the user, and company president and CEO Michael Stokes said testing could be completed quickly.

"Voice-activated menus can be built from these apps to take users where they need to go by using only these responses," Stokes said. "Even if it takes four steps instead of three to reach the goal, the users will appreciate the error-free experience."

Stokes said the "Yes/No" applications could prepare users for other apps that have larger vocabularies, including numbers.

"Voice command technology is used for medical transcriptions in hospitals and clinics, for hands-free dialing and GPS directions in vehicles, and for voice-activated menu prompts at call centers," Stokes added. "Unfortunately, current technology operates at 70 percent to 80 percent accuracy across all speakers, and people can become frustrated with errors and prompts to repeat information. Automatic speech recognition software still is not widely used because of this lack of performance."

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