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In Tatarstan, speech recognition start-up RealSpeaker secures seed funding from Startobaza

24 Dec '12
East-West Digital News, the international resource on Russian digital industries, reported Friday that Startobaza, a seed-stage investment company based in Kazan, Tatarstan, has bought into RealSpeaker, an award-winning local start-up that is developing a computer vision-based speech recognition system.

Startobaza project manager Alexandra Kazakova told East-West Digital News that US business angels have also invested in the start-up, but declined to provide any details on the latest transactions.

RealSpeaker, which focuses on speech recognition technology, dubs itself the first visual extension for audio speech recognition systems in the world. RealSpeakers team is applying parallel analysis of audio and video streams to avoid common problems like low accuracy or fragmented speech.

The new software is smart enough to analyze a speakers lip movements, process audio data of any duration and break speech down into separate fragments, RealSpeaker claims. Its 2013 plans include more rigorous testing of the system on actual users.

For Svetlana Nikiforova, managing partner at Startobaza and wife of Russias minister of communications, what RealSpeaker seeks to market is a potentially game-changing technology able to remove the barrier of misunderstanding between man and machine.

RealSpeaker is a resident of Kazans IT Park, a major techno-park in the Tatarstan capital, and also of Skolkovo, the state-sponsored innovation hub under construction outside Moscow.
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