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Mobile phones to read lips

Mobile phones to read lips

A new concept design for a technology has been showcased by scientists that will put an end to excessively loud conversations on mobile phones in public places.

A team of researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology has come up with the necessary equipment to detect the electrical pulses made by facial muscles while speaking.

This means that even if the microphone does not pick up the noise of the voice, the mobile will be able to work out what is being said and translate it into a computer-generated voice which will be heard by the end user.

Professor Tanja Shultz explained the technology to BBC News, saying that by using nine electrodes attached to a user's face, they are able to "capture the electrical potentials that result from you moving your articulatory muscles [...]Those are the muscles that you need in order to produce speech".

Because the technology is a little clunky at the moment, Proffessor Shultz acknowledged that it would not be immediately attractive for mobile manufacturers.

However, the intention is to allow not only for low-level mobile communication, but also for translation between languages, with one user speaking and the other receiving the voice translated into their mother tongue in the form of a text.

In the USA it is known that NASA has worked with similar technology, but Professor Shultz said that the sophistication of NASA's tech capabilities paled in comparison with the potential abilities of this latest line of investigation.

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