Multilingual meeting technology and services provider Interprefy has today released a new solution that could potentially rid events of audio issues stemming from bad microphones and hard-to-hear speech.
Announced as an add-on to its event interpretation platform, Interprefy Clarifier applies the science of psychoacoustics to make crucial elements of speech more audible. Key parts of the sound are restored or boosted, ensuring words are simpler and quicker to decipher against factors such as poor-quality microphones and hard-to-hear speech.
Available for listeners and interpreters, Clarifier can be switched on or off by each user within their soft-console or user interface. When enabled, each word becomes easier to identify from potentially confusable and similar-sounding terms.
The company says the solution means interpreters need to think less about decoding what they hear and can instead focus on the comprehension and translation of speech, increasing their speed and accuracy and ultimately reducing stress.
Clarifier is a critical component in Interprefy’s patent-pending audio processing system for live events and has great potential to significantly improve automatic speech-to-text captions accuracy in inferior sound conditions.
The audio quality issue came to a head recently when interpreters at the European Parliament went on strike, citing issues related to listening to poor audio from off-site meeting participants.
“The past two years have demonstrated to us all the value of flexibility and accessibility, but some speaker’s home or remote audio hardware is simply not up to scratch, while they themselves are not always trained in microphone technique and can find it hard to speak clearly and at a measured pace. Interprefy saw it as vital that we did something to redress the situation for interpreters so that they can work at their very best throughout events,” Oddmund Braaten, CEO at Interprefy, said.
“We’re focusing on the clarity of the spoken word. When an interpreter is trying to decode what a speaker is saying, we know that certain characteristics of the sound are absolutely vital. Clarifier is able to pick out the fleeting and fragile parts of speech – the sibilant, plosive and transient components – and maximise their audibility. The wonderful way the brain works is that with these key components secured, the other parts become clearer too,” Braaten said.
“Being an interpreter is one of the hardest, most stressful jobs in the world, and the least they expect is to be given good enough audio to be able to do their jobs. So, although what we’re providing might sound like a small factor, it can make a huge difference to the delivery of interpretation services for conferences, discussions, presentations and business meetings,” Braaten concluded.