Open-air Beach Racket game is an intense sport and the measured information (scores and statistics) rotate fast enough in LED displays. The viewer finds it difficult to concentrate on the spectacle of the game as he is forced to be updated very often by looking at the screens, distracting from the game. To maximize the viewers experience when watching a match, it was prescribed the integration of an automated vocal description of the game, so the viewers wouldn't need to watch the screens all the time. For the success of the project, the voice of the artificial sportscaster should be "alive" to cover the intensity of the game, with special expression renderings, e.g. when the speed of the ball exceeds certain limits and should be announced with enthusiasm. Existing speech synthesis systems (TTS) do not provide this kind of expressiveness. On the other hand, the waveform concatenation approach creates either pauses in the generated speech or audio discontinuities in the concatenation points, causing discomfort to the listener and eventually spoil the image of the product.
e-rhetor undertook to create a special purpose text-to-speech voice for this project. domainTTS service provided by e-rhetor enables the rapid development of purpose-specific text-to-speech voices with high expressiveness.The scope of the application was the description of the Beach Racket games and more specifically: the announcement of the score, the team that comes first, the speed of the ball, the position of the team in the rankings. The requirements analysis and the creation of the recorded utterances lasted few hours through automated language processing processes. The domain voice developed called "BeachRacket" can produce 9068 absolutely natural and expressive phrases when describing the game, using just a small vocabulary of 60 words.
The integration of voice "BeachRacket" in mobiXeyes this summer, created a special sensation in the joint making it more impressive to follow the game (see the video).
You might find more information on mobiXeyes in http://www.mobics.gr/el/projects/mobiXeyes
Mobics Ltd is an SME based in Athens, Greece, which was established in 2006 as a spin-off company of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Department of Informatics and Telecommunications). Mobics specializes in the design, development and provision of innovative applications and value added services for mobile, Web and pervasive environments, with an emphasis on geographic and contextual information. Being a spin-off company of the University of Athens, Mobics invests in knowledge and people to lay the foundations for successful long-lasting collaborations and offer innovative solutions on the cutting edge of technology. The Mobics R&D team is led by internationally well known researchers with a long record of research contributions in the areas of mobile and pervasive networking services and applications, and participation in many international, national and regional R&D projects.
e-rhetor founded in 2001 by PhD and MSc students of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Department of Informatics and Telecommunications). e-rhetor is a pioneer and highly skilled company with strong and extended research and industrial activity in the field of language and voice technologies, that led inspiring ideas to market solutions, like the first Greek speech synthesizer for Symbian mobile phones in 2004 and the first open IVR web-browsing platform (aka CallingWeb www.callingweb.org) in 2009. e-rhetor participates in joint implementation projects with the major system integrators and specializes in developing innovative and targeted solutions.