Welcome to the home page of the Ultrax project. Ultrax uses ultrasound technology as a tool for giving visual feedback of what is happening inside a speaker’s mouth as they talk. One of the major uses of this is as a speech therapy for children.
Two children in every British classroom (6.5%), have Speech Sound Disorders (SSDs), making it difficult for them to communicate with their peers and integrate with society. Currently, there is little technological support for the provision of speech therapy. Most interventions for SSDs rely heavily on auditory skills, in that clients must listen to their own productions and modify them using auditory cues. Speech intervention that uses visual feedback may benefit people for whom visual skills are stronger than auditory skills (as is often the case in people with SSDs), with visual feedback potentially most useful when the target articulation is hard to describe or see. By actually showing the child the required articulation, the need to describe it using complex language is avoided.
A recent fall in the price of ultrasound coupled with growing evidence of its benefit in remediating certain types of SSDs makes this the right time to apply proven data processing and machine learning techniques to enhance ultrasound technology specifically for this purpose, thus turning it into a cost-effective tool for improving the effectiveness of SSD intervention. This is the goal of Ultrax.