Design and Implementation of Voice Based Email System For Blinds

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Design and Implementation of Voice Based Email System For Blinds

Abstract:

Internet has become one of the basic amenities for day-to-day living. Every human being is widely accessing the knowledge and information through internet. However, blind people face difficulties in accessing these text materials, also in using any service provided through internet. The advancement in computer based accessible systems has opened up many avenues for the visually impaired across the globe in a wide way. Audio feedback based virtual environment like, the screen readers have helped Blind people to access internet applications immensely. We describe the Voicemail system architecture that can be used by a Blind person to access e-Mails easily and efficiently. The contribution made by this research has enabled the Blind people to send and receive voice based e-Mail messages in their native language with the help of a computer.

CHAPTER ONE/INTRODUCTION

Internet is considered as a major storehouse of information in today’s world. No single work can be done without the help of it. It has even become one of the defacto methods used in communication. And out of all methods available email is one of the most common forms of communication especially in the business world. However not all people can use the internet. This is because in order to access the internet you would need to know what is written on the screen. If that is not visible it is of no use. This makes internet a completely useless technology for the visually impaired and illiterate people. Even the systems that are available currently like the screen readers TTS and ASR do not provide full efficiency to the blind people so as to use the internet. As nearly 285 million people worldwide are estimated visually impaired it become necessary to make internet facilities for communication usable for them also. Therefore we have come up with this project in which we will be developing a voice based email system which will aid the visually impaired people who are naive to computer systems to use email facilities in a hassle free manner. The users of this system would not need to have any basic information regarding keyboard shortcuts or where the keys are located. All functions are based on simple mouse click operations making it very easy for any type of user to use this system.

Also the user need not worry about remembering which mouse click operation he/she needs to perform in order to avail a given service as the system itself will be prompting them as to which click will provide them with what operations.

1.2  BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Long before electronic signal processing was invented, there were those who tried to build machines to create human speech. Some early legends of the existence of “Brazen Heads” involved Pope Silvester II (d. 1003 AD), Albertus Magnus (1198–1280), and Roger Bacon (1214–1294). In 1779, the Danish scientist Christian Kratzenstein, working at the Russian Academy of Sciences, built models of the human vocal tract that could produce the five long vowel sounds (in International Phonetic Alphabet notation, they are [aː], [eː], [iː], [oː] and [uː]). This was followed by the bellows-operated “acoustic-mechanical speech machine” by Wolfgang von Kempelen of Pressburg, Hungary, described in a 1791 paper. This machine added models of the tongue and lips, enabling it to produce consonants as well as vowels. According to Charles (1857), Wheatstone produced a “speaking machine” based on von Kempelen’s design, and in 1857, M. Faber built the “Euphonia”. Wheatstone’s design was resurrected in 1923 by Paget.

In the 1930s, Bell Labs developed the vocoder, which automatically analyzed speech into its fundamental tone and resonances. From his work on the vocoder, Homer Dudley developed a keyboard-operated voice synthesizer called The Voder (Voice Demonstrator), which he exhibited at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. The Pattern playback was built by Dr. Franklin S. Cooper and his colleagues at Haskins Laboratories in the late 1940s and completed in 1950. There were several different versions of this hardware device but only one currently survives. The machine converts pictures of the acoustic patterns of speech in the form of a spectrogram back into sound. Using this device, Allen J (2007) were able to discover acoustic cues for the perception of phonetic segments (consonants and vowels).

1.3  STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

There are a total number of 4.1 billion email accounts created until 2014 and there will be estimated 5.2 billion accounts by end of 2018 this makes emails the most used form of communication. The most common mail services that we use in our day to day life cannot be used by visually challenged people. This is because they do not provide any facility so that the person in front can hear out the content of the screen. As they cannot visualize what is already present on screen they cannot make out where to click in order to perform the required operations.

For a visually challenged person using a computer for the first time is not that convenient as it is for a normal user even though it is user friendly. Although there are many screen readers available then also these people face some minor difficulties. Screen readers read out whatever content is there on the screen and to perform those actions the person will have to use keyboard shortcuts as mouse location cannot be traced by the screen readers. This means two things; one that the user cannot make use of mouse pointer as it is completely inconvenient if the pointer location cannot be traced and second that user should be well versed with the keyboard as to where each and every key is located.

1.4  OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The main objective of this project is to create an IVR- interactive voice response email system. When using this system the computer will be prompt the user to perform specific operations to avail respective services and if the user needs to access the respective services then he/she needs to perform that operation. The new system will be designed in such a way that the user won’t require to use the keyboard alot.

1.5  SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The scope of this research work involves creating a system will be perfectly accessible to all types of users as it is just based on simple mouse clicks and speech inputs and there is no need to remember keyboard shortcuts. Also because of IVR facility those who cannot read need not worry as they can listen to the prompting done by the system and perform respective actions..

1.6  SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The significance of this project work is to serve as a helping tool for the vision impaired/blind users. Blind users will be able to use the software by mouse clicks and speech only. The application will convert speech to text and prompt the user to take necessary actions.

1.7  LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The limitations encounter in this research work includes:

  1. Limited time to carryout research on the subject. Not enough time to gather information for this research work.
  2. The epileptic nature of power supply in the country. After we have gather the little material – information for this work, there was shortage of power supply to organize our work.
  3. Another limitation is Finance: doing a research work definitely needs money. Shortage of funds is one of the greatest challenges we encountered during this project.   

1.8  DEFINITION OF TERMS

  • Electrical Aided: An electronic device that help particular disable been to achieve a setting goal
  • IVR: Interactive Voice Response
  • GPS– Global Position System: Is a radio navigation system.
  • Phonetic: Relating to the sounds of spoken language
  • Receiver: Person or thing who receives something.
  • Robot: A machine built to carry out some complex task or group of tasks especially one which can be programmed.
  • Text: A writing consisting of multiple glyphs, characters, symbols or sentences.
  • Speech: the ability to speak or to use vocalization to communicate.
  • System: A collection of organized things