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Dear Colleagues,

TMC Physics would like to invite you to a pizza session that is being presented by Ward van der Houwen, Assistant Professor at Faculty of Industrial Design and owner of “Van der Houwen Engineering Consultancy”.
For more info on Ward see also his TEDx presentation: Materials have feelings too: Ward van der Houwen at TEDxHanzeUniversity

The VoiceMint electronic voice prosthesis

The patented VoiceMint electronic voice prosthesis is a modern, gadget-like voice replacement device, suited for (temporarily) voice impaired patients. The wireless mint-shaped device is switched on at a squeeze and confirms switch-on with a melody. It can then be put into the mouth between the cheek and teeth. Upon opening of the mouth, the VoiceMint will emit a clearly audible tone that can be articulated into speech. Intonation is achieved with a small head tilt. Until now, patients that are without voice due to injury, cancer or other diseases, need to communicate with gesture, written text or a medical voice generator device. These current electro larynx systems are bulky and crude devices that have to be pressed to the jaw to produce an unnatural and robotic speech sound. The VoiceMint device is still under development and currently reaching demonstrator stage.

We are currently developing an intra oral electronic voice prosthesis for people (temporarily) unable (or advised not) to speak. The device is a self contained battery, micro-controller with sensors, amplifier and speaker module, carried within the mouth between cheek and jaw. This VoiceMint "candy" will generate a voice signal upon opening of the mouth that the user then can articulate into speech using tongue, cheeks, jaw and lips...
We found that electronically it's all do-able: amplifiers (up to 2.5 Watt!), loudspeakers, sensors, processing power. But now the question is: This is the question we are currently facing...

Question for the audience
What sounds are most (energy) effective for generating (articulating into) speech, using our micro acoustic system? And knowing which sounds (waveforms, spectrum), how to effectively reproduce those using micro amplifiers (class D, G and H) and micro speakers? What technology chain (codecs, amps, speakers and speaker housings) is used to deliver the high performance in mobile phones and portable media players? This is the world of psycho-acoustics, smart codecs and micro acoustics we know virtually nothing about (yet).

When: Wednesday March 26, 2014
Where: TMC Eindhoven
Time: 18.00h – 21.00h

Please let Samantha Verhoef know if you will be attending.

What's your next step? We can help you with that