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Making emergency calls more accessible to older adults through a hands-free speech interface in the house

Abstract : Wearable personable emergency response (PER) systems are the mainstream solution for allowing frail and isolated individuals to call for help in an emergency. However, these devices are not well adapted to all users and are often not worn all the time, meaning they are not available when needed. This paper presents a Voice User Interface system for emergency call recognition. The interface is designed to permit hands-free interaction using natural language. Crucially, this allows a call for help to be registered without necessitating physical proximity to the system. The system is based on an ASR engine and is tested on a corpus collected to simulate realistic situations. The corpus contains French speech from 4 older adults and 13 younger people wearing an old-age simulator to hamper their mobility, vision and hearing. On-line evaluation of the preliminary system showed an emergency call error rate of 27%. Subsequent off-line experimentation improved the results (call error rate 24%), demonstrating that emergency call recognition in the home is achievable. Another contribution of this work is the corpus, which is made available for research with the hope that it will facilitate related research and quicker development of robust methods for automatic emergency call recognition in the home.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02009828
Contributor : Michel Vacher <>
Submitted on : Friday, June 28, 2019 - 11:21:31 AM
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Michel Vacher, Frédéric Aman, Solange Rossato, François Portet, B Lecouteux. Making emergency calls more accessible to older adults through a hands-free speech interface in the house. ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing , ACM New York, NY, USA 2019, 12 (2), pp.8:1-8:25. ⟨10.1145/3310132⟩. ⟨hal-02009828⟩

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