SIP Speech Phone for the Hearing-Impaired
Mathieu Benoit Graduate, Information Technology and Management
Sai Nitin Singh C. Graduate, Information Technology and Management
Carol Davids - Alva C. Todd Professor, Information Technology and Management
Project Advisory Council Sponsor
Lizette Velazques - Lucent Technologies
SIP Speech Phone for Hearing Impaired is an application developed to deliver telecommunication services to audibly challenged individuals, without the intervention of interpreters.
A SIP Speech Phone was developed using existing open source software. The hearing impaired person enters text into the application, which is converted into speech and transmitted to the other end. From the other end the speech of the hearing person is received by the application and converted back to text and displayed to the challenged person. This way, the challenged person can interact with others through a textual interface.
The application design takes a decentralized approach, which is the primary reason for choosing SIP signaling. Most of the processing is pushed to the end users, embracing a "dumb-core-smart-edge" architecture. This decreases the demand on the existing infrastructure to accommodate the application - the hearing person can be contacted over a standard PSTN phone. Hence this application, which was taken up as a 'proof-of-concept' (suggested by Lucent Technologies), is considered very flexible.
The SIP Speech Application is highly modular with a speech module and an interface module. The speech module is again divided into a Speech Synthesizer module and a Speech Recognizer module. Each module is replaceable with a better module if need be. Further, the application is highly configurable and extensible. A variety of voices can be added to the synthesizer and a variety of configurations can be used for the recognizer to tweak its accuracy.
This project was described by Professor Davids at SuperComm 2005, on June 7, 2005. It was presented and demonstrated by its student developers at the VoIP Student Colloquium, organized jointly by Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Communication Society Chicago Chapter and IIT's Rice Campus on June 21, 2005, as part of an IEEE student colloquium.