Intelligent systems would benefit from being able to localize and track sound sources in real life settings. Such a capability can help in localizing a person or an interesting event in the environment, and also provides enhanced processing for other capabilities such as speech recognition. To give this capability to a computing system, the challenge is not only to localize simultaneous sound sources, but to track them over time. The ManyEars project propose a robust sound source localization and tracking method using an array of eight microphones. The method is based on a frequency-domain implementation of a steered beamformer along with a particle filter-based tracking algorithm. Tests on a mobile robot show that the algorithm can localize and track in real-time multiple moving sources of different types over a range of 7 meters. These new capabilities allowed the robot to interact using more natural means with people in real life settings. The ManyEars project provides an easy to use C library for microphone array processing. This includes sound source localisation, tracking, and separation.A tuning Qt GUI is also available for fine tuning the parameters.
Speex is a patent-free compression format designed especially for speech. It is specialized for voice communications at low bit-rates in the 2-45 kbps range. Possible applications include Voice over IP (VoIP), Internet audio streaming, audio books, and archiving of speech data (e.g. voice mail).