Still getting used to all those people with Bluetooth headsets walking down the street appearing to talk to themselves? Get ready for the still stranger sight of people talking to themselves--without making any noise.
Researchers from Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology are working on a system that converts mouth motions into synthesized speech, thus laying the groundwork for soundless cell phone calls (and ironically making us want to screech loudly in delight).
The technology relies on electromyography--a technique for recording electrical activity produced by muscles--to detect facial movements made while chatting. Once recorded, the pulses are transmitted to a device that records and amplifies them, then sends them along to a laptop via Bluetooth. Software turns the signals into text, which can then be spoken by a synthesizer. … Read more