Irritatingly loud mobile phone users could soon be a thing of the past – NTT DoCoMo is developing a mobile phone that can lip read.
The phone will use software that can detect electrical signals made by the different muscles around the mouth when speaking. This identifies the associated noise which it then synthesises into either speech or text. This could also then be transmitted as a text message or even an email.
The phone will come in particularly handy during times when discretion is required, and allow users to make a confidential phone call even when others are present. The system, which is still in prototype stages, is expected to be on the market by 2006.