A virtual human that enables post office
assistants to communicate with deaf and hearing impaired customers
is to go on trial in five branches next month.
the text and sign support assistant, is an electronic interpreter
who translates spoken language into British Sign
Tessa system combines speech recognition technology and virtual
human animation. As post office assistants speak into a microphone,
their words are recognised by a computer speech recognition system.
The speech is converted to British Sign Language and signed by
Tessa for the customer.
Tessa’s movements are based on
those of a human sign language user and she has been designed to
work in noisy environments and recognise different accents. English
text can also be displayed for those who do not use sign
has been developed by the University of East Anglia, virtual human
specialist Televirtual, Consignia, and the Royal National Institute
for the Deaf.