A rapid speech synthesizing software on a PDA for Japanese with speech impairments

Eisuke Hanada, Yasuo Sobajima, Kouji Matsumura, Seiichi Tenpaku, Koichi Kusuhara, Toshiro Umezaki, Toshiro Hara, Sohtaro Komiyama, Yoshiaki Watanabe, Yoshiaki Nose
IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering 2003, 11 (4): 386-91
We developed a Japanese-language, rapid synthesizing software application for use on a personal digital assistant. It has an unrestricted vocabulary and can synthesize words and sentences within 3 s. Eight hundred common sentences and words are preregistered. By touching the first character at the head of a preregistered sentence or word from an on-screen Kana (Japanese alphabet) chart, the user can select the sentence or word to be spoken. Characters on the Kana chart can also be input sequentially. Two Japanese subjects with speech impairments rated the device highly for its portability and quick response. Whereas communication previously had to be done by writing or sign language, it was easy for listeners with or without specialized training in communication with persons with speech impairments to understand the output from this device, making conversation easier which, in turn, improved the quality of life and social activity of these persons with speech impairments.

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