The Sound of Silence……

Sound is the string that tunes life… Sound is the spirit that connects souls… Sound is the inevitable blend of music, words, love, care, and what not it is…

Since life began on earth, the living creatures from microorganisms to human beings started communicating in their own ways. Some make sounds, some produce hormones, some show expressions,i.e. each and everyone on this earth has a mode of communication.Whatever the methods they adopt, the supreme objective is to convey messages. Humans communicate via sound and expressions mainly. Only people with voice could speak over the phone so far. Now, it’s a good time for those who cannot speak, technology has presented us a new technique called ‘Silent Sound Technology.’

Silence…

Silence in some sense is the best answer for all solutions. But not always. There are almost 70 million deaf people who make sign language as their mother tongue or first language. According to WHO, over 5% (about 360 million) of the total population all over the world are facing hearing disabilities.Speaking over the phone is a dream for many of them. The time has reached to turn that dream into reality. A team of Scientists from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany has come up with the concept of Silent Sound Technology and working on it to develop an expedient device.

Silent Sound Technology is one of the greatest gifts from the scientists to humanity. With this new technology, people who have lost their voice to speak can speak over a cell phone or other electronic gadgets. As technology grows, the great walls of impossibilities are falling down in front of human beings.

The Concept

Silent Sound Technology is not only a blessing for people who do not have voice to speak, but also for those who wish to handover confidential data over the phone. Especially for professionals, who want to be in contact with the office while in a journey, or confer with clients regarding most confidential matters, this technology is a boon. Slowly we can forget the incidences of shouting aloud in a crowd.

The silent calls made at one end will be converted to sound signals at the receiver end. Nano-sized devices are required for employing this technology in gadgets for daily use. The device notices the lip movements and records the muscle activity made by the person and deciphers them into speech so that the person on the other end will hear it.

An added feature to this technology is that it makes the user an ‘Instant Polyglot.’  Hence, it can be used by everyone who wants to communicate with people from various parts of the world, without bothering about the linguistic barriers. The words deciphered by the device will be converted to corresponding words in the selected language by either the sender or receiver or both. For this concept to work, a large database with the words will be in use. The native speaker can silently utter a word in his own language, and it will be received in the native language of the receiver.

Implementation of the Technology

Silent Sound Technology is brought into reality with the help of two methods, Electromyography and Image Processing.

Electromyography

Electromyography (EMG) helps in monitoring tiny muscular movements that occur when we speak. The device equipped for the purpose will monitor and evaluate the electrical activity produced by the skeletal muscle. The electromyogram produced is analysed instantly and the transducers integrated will convert them into electrical pulses that can be converted to speech. The muscle membrane must create an electrical source potential of -90 mV. For best results, the measured EMG must range between less than 50μV and up to 20 to 30 mV, depending on the muscle under observation.

Image Processing

The gadget will be equipped with a tiny camera to capture the lip movements, these images are then analysed and checked in the database to fetch the corresponding words. Digital Image Processing technique is employed to convert the digital data tape into film images with minimal corrections and calibrations.

Although these are the basic techniques behind Silent Sound Technology, development of a handy device with this technology is not yet achieved. However, experiments are going on in the field and Scientists from KIT are putting efforts to bring the most sophisticated device with Silent Sound Technology to the public for use in the near future.

Nanotechnology is the cornerstone for developing such a device. There is nothing to fear, technology will never stagnate. It keeps on growing, and eventually, we will be blessed with a device that makes our earth a better place to live in. Technocrats are constantly in search for novel objects to make life easier, organized and blissful.

Now, let the silence break the sound….