Archean Labs is the Research & Development center of Archean Technologies. Given its main activity — i.e., the design and manufacture of emergency public address systems — Archean Technologies has always considered speech intelligibility as a priority. Indeed, in emergency situations, one should not only hear security warnings, but should be able to clearly understand the broadcasted messages.
After several years of research and development, Archean Labs and its academic partners developed a first system based on automatic speech recognition (ASR) for providing fast, reliable and objective measures of speech intelligibility. This system was first used to help audiologists and hearing-aid (HA) dispensers in the fine-tuning of HAs (see the CarlW project page).
Such an objective intelligibility measurement system is potentially relevant for many applications. The measurement of speech quality is indeed crucial for every situation in which speech communication can be compromised. Speech communication failures car be due to the listener performance (e.g. the hearing difficulties addressed by the CarlW project) but also to the speaker performance (e.g. non-native and pathological speakers) or to the communication channel performance (e.g. speech communication in highly reverberating environments). This is why Archean Labs enlarged the scope of its research by including the development of innovative solutions for the domains of public address, pathological speech, and foreign language learning — notably through the development of pronunciation training software.