21 Sep Perceptral lands Phase I Army SBIR contract
Perceptral, a Racine, Wis.-based has received $70,000 from the U.S. Army to engage in a six-month study to prove the feasibility of applying its proprietary methods of sound segmentation and speech compression to the reconstruction of degraded digital sound transmissions from the devices that the Army currently uses such as walkie-talkies and radios. If Perceptral’s Army Phase I is deemed successful, a four-month Phase I Option for an additional $50,000 may be awarded, in anticipation of a possible two-year Phase II contract to develop the company’s solution into a prototype.
Perceptral’s approach to sound segmentation holds great promise for revolutionizing the handling of speech prosody in a wide range of applications. Speech prosody or “tone of voice” is used to convey and understand speaker feelings and changes in speech prosody can modify how listeners interpret the content of what is being said.
A direct result is enhanced functionality for speech analysis and synthesis, novel methods of sound compression and reconstruction, and advanced handling of prosody, including speech rate, intonation, accent and dialect, and vocal timbre. Intended products include improved text-to-speech applications, automated speech dubbing in multiple accents and languages, pedagogical tools for accent reduction and acquisition, prosthetic voices, and animated voices for the entertainment industry.