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NCJ Number: NCJ 208704     Find in a Library
Title: Voice Response Translator: A Valuable Police Tool
  Document URL: HTML PDF 
Author(s): Mark P. Cohen
  Journal: National Institute of Justice Journal  Issue:252  Dated:July 2005  Pages:8 to 13
Date Published: 07/2005
Page Count: 6
  Series: NIJ Journal
  Annotation: The National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) testing of four devices for instant language translation by law enforcement personnel in the field selected the Voice Response Translator (VRT) from Integrated Wave Technologies as the top choice for law enforcement use in terms of ruggedness, quality of speakers and microphones, and voice activation for hands-free operation.
Abstract: The VRT is a one-way translator that allows users to communicate instantly with non-English speakers. Each VRT unit is "trained" by an individual to recognize that person's short, voice-activated commands in English. The English phrase is associated with a computerized audio file of a complete foreign-language sentence recorded by a fluent speaker of that language. In less than a second, the VRT repeats the command in the desired language. The VRT is programmed for traffic stops, domestic problems, lost children, and medical emergencies. It can be programmed to translate into any language; and once programmed, an officer can switch among languages by voice command. In addition to testing prototypes at various law enforcement agencies, NIJ funded an independent analysis by the U.S. Navy. This analysis found that many officers needed less than 1 day to become comfortable and competent with the VRT, and the unit performed properly in all programmed languages. One limitation in the technology is its failure to recognize changes in an officer's inflection or voice pattern in a stressful encounter, which involves significant departures from the voice characteristics used when the officer programmed the VRT. The VRT might also fail to function properly when used by an officer with a distinctive ethnic accent. The test officers' most frequently suggested improvement, however, was to include a volume switch. 1 note
Main Term(s): Police equipment
Index Term(s): Voice communications ; Languages ; Immigrants/Aliens ; Police-minority relations ; Communication techniques
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 2002-LB-R-045; 97-IJ-R-042
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Type: Report (Technical)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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