Audio solution for automatic announcements at many airports

MARIAN develops high-quality audio solutions for the most demanding applications. Due to a cooperation with Aviavox, MARIAN DSP systems are used in aviation for, the automatic speech systems employed at airports from London Heathrow
to Tanzania.

When you sit at the airport and listen to passengers being called to their flights or gate changes being announced, you rarely think of the technology behind the announcements. Dutch company Aviavox develops innovative speech synthesis systems for this application and employs DSP systems by MARIAN due to their reputation for top sound quality and reliability.

Aviavox develops announcement systems for airports

Aviavox provides airports with automatic announcement systems since 2003. After early cooperations with airports in Amsterdam, Aviavox is responsible for announcements in some of the world’s biggest airports. From Rome to Delhi to Sydney, Aviavox systems run the automated announcements – using the powerful MARIAN audio cards to do so.

DNA of speech: “phoneme technology”

The technology employed by Aviavox is considerably different from conventional systems, as Aviavox managing director Johan Godin states. “There are three types of technologies for automated announcements: pre-recorded announcements, which are very inflexible; text-to-speech, which does not sound natural; and finally the phoneme system developed by Aviavox.”

The latter separates language into its constituents and can then reassemble them intelligently. Godin compares the technology to the structure of the human body: “Every kind of tissue has a certain genetic code – bone tissue is different from muscle tissue. We break down languages to this very core and then use artificial intelligence to reassemble the parts into new speech.”

The results are announcements that sound astonishingly real and are capable of reproducing any desired utterance in the target language.

MARIAN audio cards for real-sounding human voices

To make sure the artificial speech sounds organic not only on the content level, but also on the level of sound, high-quality audio components are essential. Aviavox therefore uses the high-quality audio cards by MARIAN.

“We require a particular type of audio card for the integration of a system in airport PA systems,”
Godin explains. “We are more than happy to work with MARIAN due to the outstanding and yet cost-­efficient quality.” Only audio hardware of this quality level can give people the feeling of listening to a real human being.

High-quality MARIAN hardware built to last

The importance of a product’s longevity becomes particularly apparent in airport and airline applications. You would not want to have the announcements go quiet due to a hardware malfunction.

“Every component in a computer system has a certain lifespan, the MTBF,” Godin speaks from experience. “Every product can only ever be as good as its weakest component. Which is why we pick the components for our systems very meticulously.”

MARIAN audio solutions satisfy the Aviavox standards for long-lasting parts. “Some of our systems have been on duty for 12 years – this is outstanding for the automation industry.”