Face–to–face communication is hard enough, but when communicating remotely, the problems multiply. Are you getting your words across? How are others reacting? What are they saying, thinking? Am I understanding others and being understood?
Cloud–based video collaboration has expanded accessibility, offering chat, 1:1 calling, document sharing, and multi–person video conferencing. But real connection is tough and getting tougher, especially when working from home where distractions abound – the kids, the pets, the vacuum cleaner, the sirens outside. Audio disruptions are stressful and can lead to what psychologists call cognitive overload. Working in a noisy environment is exhausting!
When so many people need help to cope and make conferencing easier and more productive, BabbleLabs introduces Clear Edge for Client – our best–in–class, AI–based software application that eliminates background noise and enhances speech, so people can hear and understand better on any call from any communication app. Whether a business professional uses Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Cisco WebEx, Skype, Google Meet, or another collaboration service, Clear Edge for Client creates clearer communications from laptops and desktops. It’s a simple–to–use application backed by sophisticated technology that preserves a user’s privacy, security, and desktop and laptop memory.
The launch of Clear Edge marks a big milestone for BabbleLabs at a unique time in history. Since our inception, we have been motivated to fulfill the need for effective technology that solves the noisy speech problem. Now, in a time of social separation when we need connection more than ever, we believe better speech technology that enhances understanding when communicating virtually is not only helpful, it’s essential.
Here’s a bit about our journey that has led up to the introduction of Clear Edge for Client.
A Leap in Speech Quality using Machine Learning
Technology can’t solve all the world’s problems, but advances in deep learning, speech science, and compute–optimized software are creating true breakthroughs in live speech. With new kinds of data collection, unique neural network models, and big compute for training and tiny compute for deployment, we have achieved a leap in speech quality enhancement. Engineers have been working on the speech processing problem since 1876 when the telephone was invented. Alexander Bell would be amazed, however, at the progress made just in the past two years.
But the great 19th century inventors understood that progress is not a story of just one clever idea, it’s a whole cluster of ideas, experiments, and trials. BabbleLabs has been single–mindedly focused on speech enhancement over the past 30 months with some of the cleverest minds in speech and deep learning. There have been many iterations with a wide range of rival algorithms to ultimately arrive at a solution that is both extraordinary in separating the structure of human speech from everything else – noise, communications impairments, reverberation, and even human speech babble. And it’s remarkably efficient computationally so that it can be deployed in almost any kind of computing system – small embedded systems, phones, laptops, and supercomputers.
A Solution is Born through the Clear Edge Suite of Products
Out of this work Clear Edge was born – technology that enhances speech and removes noise so people can have quiet, productive conversations at any time, from anywhere. Clear Edge runs on a variety of edge equipment. Clear Edge for Mobile runs on mobile devices and is designed for phone carriers, manufacturers and mobile app providers. Clear Edge for Rooms runs on in–room conferencing applications and is designed for enterprises and other organizations. In Q1 when we saw the COVID–19 crisis looming and individuals struggling to have productive communications remotely, we doubled down on our effort to focus on individual conferencing. We ran countless iterations to refine the training data, the network algorithm, the pre– and post–processing and the UI so the platform could take on all of the challenges presented in noisy home environments. We even assessed the biggest annoyances and added extra training just for keyboards and dogs. Clear Edge for Client runs on a user’s laptop or desktop and is designed for individuals.
Clear Edge protects others from your noise and you from others’ noise. It provides one standard, transparent tool to solve speech quality in any live application. It’s not just for conferencing but can be used to remove noise when producing audio content, listening to broadcast and YouTube, and consuming live streams. It fundamentally raises the bar on speech – once you experience clarity in communications using Clear Edge you won’t want to live without it.
Better speech is good for everyone.
Speech enhances understanding. Restoring and preserving speech is critical. At BabbleLabs, we are taking a fundamental look at the structure of speech and language to create new solutions using the best of deep learning, speech science, and software engineering. We want to make speech more comprehensible and understand its context more completely while enhancing the privacy and robustness of existing and new speech systems.
The value of speech enhancement stands out most vividly in organizations. The cost of misunderstanding is multiplied and can be counted in slower decisions, lost customers, mistakes, and even human lives. Organizations face almost insurmountable challenges today as a pandemic unfolds, but making speech work better across businesses, hospitals, education, government agencies or the supply chain translates directly into faster progress and rebuilding with less effort.
At a time when virtual communication has become an essential part of our daily lives, we at BabbleLabs remain committed to enhancing understanding and human connection through speech science. We hope that individuals across the globe will take advantage of Clear Edge for Client during a 3–month free trial period to have more productive communications and conference calls – to gain greater understanding – and attain greater peace of mind. Download Clear Edge for Client from the BabbleLabs web site and let me know what you think.