How Do Sensors Work for Speaker Recognition?

How Do Sensors Work for Speaker Recognition?

How Do Sensors Work for Speaker Recognition?

The era of smart devices ushered in new, intelligent devices with abilities that surpassed our imagination. Typically, audio sensors are used in devices, including microphones. These sensors then convert sound to electric signals and they are seen in a number of applications, from public address systems to mobile phones.

A good number of devices like this make use of microelectromechanical sensors and this greatly limits the performance. This article goes into detail about sensors for speaker recognition and the extent of development we have enjoyed.

What is Speaker Recognition?

We sometimes refer to this act as voice recognition, and the aim is to identify whoever attempted to speak or who are currently making a speech. You might ask, “Why would we want to use this technology?” and in a short while, you will realize the importance.

Importance of Speaker Recognition

In an audio transcript, it is particularly important to identify the speaker or speakers at a certain point in time. It can even be used in security to identify the individual who has access to the property.

When we consider the fact that home automation and smart home devices are becoming prevalent, the technology of speaker recognition then becomes a must.

If this concept seems obscure to you, it is normal. A lot of people find it difficult to understand how a sensor is able to distinguish between voices and they might even doubt the efficiency of the device. But the report that is about to be presented goes into detail about the technology and how it works.

Without any further ado, let’s explore acoustic sensors for speaker recognition.

Acoustic Sensors for Speaker Recognition

The advanced concept of machine learning has been leveraged by a research team from the Department of Material Science and Engineering to develop an acoustic sensor that can be used for speaker recognition.

These sensors, for a long time now, have been lauded as very intuitive communication devices for bilateral communication between computer devices and humans and they are proving extremely useful in modern-day applications.

Piezoelectric Acoustic Sensors

Piezoelectric Acoustic Sensors

How Do They Work?

These acoustic sensors employ a condenser-type device to measure the capacitance between two conducting layers of a material. By so doing, we are able to achieve short recognition distance, low recognition rates, and a short recognition distance.

The research team behind this project built a flexible piezoelectric membrane by simulating the basilar membrane in the cochlea. The cochlea is the snail-shaped tube in the ear and this is where sound vibrations are converted into nerve impulses.

The vibration at resonant frequencies then correspond to the region of the trapezoidal piezoelectric membrane then converts voice to an electric signal, via the acoustic sensor. This sensor is highly sensitive and is also self-powered.

Flexible piezoelectric acoustic sensors

Flexible piezoelectric acoustic sensors for speaker recognition

The piezoelectric acoustic sensor has a sensitivity of more than 200% and this gives room for more voice information when we compare the performance to that of the traditional acoustic sensors. The performance is such that even the slightest sound can be detected from the farthest distance. The device also has the ability to produce a 97.5% speaker recognition rate using machine learning. This result means that the error rate is reduced by 75%.

The Future of Speaker Recognition Using Machine Learning

There’s no doubt that speaker recognition with AI is the next big thing in the world of IT and this technology has been touted to revolutionize personal customized services. The drawback of existing technology in this area is that improvement is being done via enhancing the software stepwise. This then places a restriction on the possible recognition rate.

The research team behind the acoustic sensors completely replaced the entire hardware with a piezoelectric sensor and this facilitated the enhancement. Any improvement to the software underpinning the piezoelectric sensor will cause an increase to the speaker performance, as well as the rate of voice recognition, even in diverse environments.

The application of this product is also exciting. The technology can be used in personal voice services like smart home gadgets, virtual assistants, IoT devices, security, FinTech, and a host of others.


As we have seen, this research team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have been able to come up with a sensor for speaker recognition. The membrane fabricated is able to simulate the membrane for hearing in the human ear and this has yielded immense level of accuracy. What is to come as regards this technology is interesting to envision.

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