Throat movements get decoded to reveal sounds of speech
MONTREAL — Eavesdroppers might not have to lip-read to listen in on a far-off conversation. Using a high-speed camera pointed at the throat, scientists can decipher a person’s words without relying on a microphone.
By snapping thousands of images per second, researchers recorded every wavering wobble of neck flesh that accompanied sounds floating out from a person’s voice box. A computer program then turned the recorded skin vibrations into sound waves, Yasuhiro Oikawa of Waseda University in Tokyo reported June 3 at the International Congress on Acoustics.
Standard lip-reading software tracks lip twitches, tongue waggles and jaw motions as a person’s mouth forms a word. Some programs are soph