BOB HIRSHON (host):
Hands-on Music…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
The voice you just heard singing is not a voice at all. It was produced by a device that recreates the biomechanics of human speech. It’s nicknamed DiVA, or Digital Ventriloquized Actor, and it allows anyone to sing with their hands. University of British Columbia computer scientist Sidney Fels explains.
SIDNEY FELS (University of British Columbia):
It makes the same kind of sounds that would come out of a normal vocal tract. And then you use your hand to shape that sound into words, into basically anything your vocal tract can do.
Fels says computerized gloves translate movements made by both hands into words. He adds that the device was invented primarily as a new form of musical instrument for both amateurs and professionals. But the technology could also be used to help people whose vocal cords have been damaged to talk again. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.