Using speech technology in the field of aids for the handicapped and elderly

W.H. Leliveld, R.P. Waterham

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Developments in the field of speech technology and microelectronics create new possibilities in aids for the handicapped and elderly. In this paper several examples of applications meant for different categories of disabled persons are presented. Our target groups of disabled and elderly generally are the visually impaired, the speech impaired, the motorically handicapped and in some cases the hearing impaired. The research done at the Institute of Perception Research (IPO) and the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) Medical Electrical Engineering Group (EME), on aids for these people, generally follows a strategy in which the process of defining requirements, realizing and subsequently evaluating an aid, is carried out as many times as it requires to come up with a useful aid. During the last phase of the project industrial contacts are looked for in order to transfer the results and to make the aid commercially available. Of speech technology we will consider speech recognition and speech production. Speech recognition can be used to create a voice operated environmental control system based on the Bush-Timac system. Speech production can be used in two ways. First as an alternative communication channel meant for the visually impaired (e.g., Typophone, Reflotalk, speaking elevator and speaking household balance). Second to replace natural speech when it is lost (e.g., Tiepstem, Pocketstem and speaking Possum). In the latter application, social acceptance of the synthetic speech is a vital aspect. Not all projects that have resulted in a useful aid have been transferred to industry because of the complexity of this transfer and the poor market expectations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGerontechnology
EditorsH. Bouma, J.A.M. Graafmans
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherISO Press
ISBN (Print)90-5199-072-3
Publication statusPublished - 1992
EventGerontechnology : 1st international conference on technology and aging - Eindhoven, Netherlands
Duration: 26 Aug 199129 Aug 1991

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
ISSN (Print)0926-9630


ConferenceGerontechnology : 1st international conference on technology and aging
OtherGerontechnology : international conference on technology and aging, 1st, Eindhoven, August 26-29, 1991


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