In recent weeks, some interesting Microsoft patents have emerged, including ideas such as an en route UAV delivery system, voice input integration with third-party apps for Cortana, and more. Now, among the latest round of patents that have been published is the tech giant's concept for a device that can artificially generate speech to curb the issues surrounding poor-quality communication sessions.
A VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) is generally established in systems to enable users to communicate through audio messages over a network. There could be many reasons why such call sessions suffer from quality issues, for example, packet loss and network jitters. As these issues are usually network-related, it is quite difficult to improve the quality of these sessions.
Microsoft believes that the current methods in place for the mitigation of such problems are insufficient. For this reason, the company has conceptualized a device which would detect instances where network issues might be affecting the quality of voice calls. After detection, it would then begin converting transmitted voice information into packets of text, sending these to a receiving device. In this way, the text could be viewed on a visual display, separate from the speakers being used to output audio. As all this would be done in real time, the receiver would be able to immediately comprehend the message despite poor networking conditions.
According to another implementation, the transmitted text packets could also be converted back to audio output at the receiving end, a process which is known as speech synthesis. A visual cue could be used to notify users when this procedure is occurring, or the user-specific text-to-speech voice could be played on a separate channel as well. Interestingly, these implementations could also, theoretically, be extended to video content. For example, videos captured at the sender's device may be encoded and sent over the network to the receiving terminal. There, they could be decoded by the device on the receiving end, before being viewed.
The notion of such a device does seem to be rather attractive, particularly for those constantly plagued with network issues. However, there is no guessing if the presented idea will ever actually materialize, as is generally the case with hundreds of patents that are published daily.