New system to help disabled, illiterate get info in hospitals

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New system to help disabled, illiterate get info in hospitals

Times of India
September 26, 2012

The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) has developed the speech-to-text conversion technology which will be used in healthcare centres and tourist places at specially installed kiosks. The technology will help the illiterate and the disabled get information about hospitals and tourist destinations.

Hemant Darbari, executive director of C-DAC, said, "The objective is to implement and deploy a speech-based system which will help users get information by speaking over the telephone, cellphone, computer, tablet or any other device. At present, the same system is used by farmers to get prices of agricultural commodities by speaking on mobiles." Darbari was speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of an event organized by C-DAC on Wednesday. The system is used in six different languages including Bengali, Hindi, Assamese, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.

The technology does not require any computer, reading or writing skills for getting information. In this system, the user communicates with the device through the microphone and the technology converts the analog signal into digital signal for speech processing and the desired output is given.

Darbari said, "There are plans to install kiosks at healthcare centres and tourism destinations where the user can ask a query at the kiosk and the answer would be given in audio as well as text form." The project is at present being tested on various platforms of electronics gadgets before they would be actually implemented. Darbari said the technology will be available for use within a year.