On December 1, 2016 Yobe Inc was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to conduct research and development (R&D) work on A Cocktail Party Technology: “Real-Time Conversation Separation from Background Voices and Sounds.” (VIDEO).
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is that it will for the first time make it possible to create voice technologies whose performance in speech and speaker recognition does not significantly degrade due to the presence of interfering voices or environmental sounds. This has kept many of these voice technologies out of both the mobile and IoT markets. Solving this challenge makes the noisy world of smartphones more realistic for voice technologies (like voice authentication) that to date have avoided the space. (Audio Demo).
“The National Science Foundation supports small businesses with the most innovative, cutting-edge ideas that have the potential to become great commercial successes and make huge societal impacts,” said Barry Johnson, Director of the NSF’s Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships. “We hope that this seed funding will spark solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time across all areas of science and technology.”
NSF accepts Phase I proposals from small businesses twice annually in June and December. Small businesses with innovative science and technology solutions, and commercial potential are encouraged to apply. All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program undergo a rigorous merit-based review process. (Team Photos).