Wireless Audio &text Communication for Hearing Impaired

Period of Performance: 09/01/2000 - 02/28/2001


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Digital Infrared Access
Little Rock, AR 72204
Principal Investigator


The project proposal seeks funding to study the feasibility of developing a low-cost wireless communication system which will transmit speech in both audio and text format to accommodate the hearing impaired and deaf. The transmission will be accomplished through non-line-of-sight digital infrared (IR) technology designed for wide area application. Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) technique will be used to convert the speech to a computer generated text which would be received by a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) in the receiver's hand. The PDA will display the transmitted speech data as a scrolling text. The system will also posses the capability to provide simultaneous voice transmission in audio format for assistive listening for mildly hearing impaired. The system is innovative in its application of modern ASR technique, digital IR technology, and currently popular PDAs. The PDAs will also possess the ability to store the text for later examination. The possible commercial market for the product extends to normal hearing individuals who desire a recorded text copy of a verbal presentation. The ultimate goal is to develop a commercially viable, robust wireless system which would enhance living quality of hearing impaired/deaf and assist other users in improving in their productivity. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: The system would serve as an assistive instrument of communication for deaf and severely hard of hearing and deaf/blind individuals. It would allow courts and attorneys to quickly store raw transcription for review. It could also be used for those who are not hearing-impaired in such venues as entertainment complexes, theme and amusement parks, schools, churches, and convention centers to keep attendees informed of events.