403 6th St., Racine
Innovation: Speech synthesis software
Perceptral LLC, a Racine-based sound technology firm that has done several projects for the government, plans to introduce its first commercial product, VS3 speed speech synthesis software, to the marketplace in 2013.
The VS3 alpha demonstrates the abilities of Perceptral's patent pending Acoustic Perceptral Event methods, which it uses to fix problems with products currently in the market.
"Acoustic Perceptual Event (APE) segmentation is a revolutionary means to identify, compare and modify transient sound events, improving precision and accuracy for speech enabled products," said Perceptral chief scientist Jonathan Pearl. "APE segmentation shifts the focus to sound perception, identifying and measuring the features that permit humans to notice variety within similarity. It is like introducing a microscope into a field that has so far relied on magnifying glasses."
The VS3 will be targeted at GPS mapping devices, e-book readers, and other handheld devices like smart phones and tablet computers that use text-to-speech technologies to deliver audio data.
If VS3 is successful it will transform Perceptral from a research and development company to a speech technology manufacturer.
The majority of the funding for the project has come from four Small Business Innovation Research Awards from the U.S. Department of Defense.
Pearl, along with Sarah Shallbetter, Charles Barousse, Debarchana Basu and Joseph Bauer make up the team of researchers responsible for the VS3.