Who’s that speaking?

Agnitio_Logo_blindA “Mummy, look!” or “Daddy, watch!” shouted from the playground will only turn the head of the parent to whom the call was addressed as the other adults instantly disregard it, having recognised that the voice did not belong to their own child. Spanish company Agnitio, has developed a machine that will do the same thing as a parent’s brain: recognise the voice as being the one that is important from amongst the many that are speaking.

This is known as voice recognition. It should not be confused with speech recognition as the two are quite different. Although both use recordings of the human voice, speech recognition seeks to identify the actual words being spoken. Voice recognition on the other hand disregards the language to detect the person actually pronouncing the words. In essence, voice biometrics seeks to recognise the speaker rather than what is being said.

(photo credit: Agnitio)

(photo credit: Agnitio)


Agnitio’s BS³ product family forms a complete set of speaker recognition products to be integrated into various surveillance solutions for the intelligence and military markets. The voice biometrics technology which functions irrespective of text, channel and language, as mentioned above, uses the information extracted from an individual’s larynx to obtain a high level of accuracy and reliability. Functionalities of the BS³ range from lawful intercept to in-the-field speaker identification applications, from large strategic deployments to tactical/operational solutions, and from electronic sensors to human voice gathering.

Agnitio says that the accuracy and speed of the BS³ core-engine allows it to spot audio targets from amongst millions of calls and to find relationships amongst speakers from large audio files. For example it can spot up to 2,000 hours of audios per day in offline mode and run up to 50 simultaneous channels in streaming mode. This would be the strategic version.

The tactical version is designed for tactical voice surveillance where realtime decisions need to be made.

Agnitio is now part of the Nuance group, according to the company’s logo which includes “now part of Nuance” on its internet site, although no announcements at this very recent change appear to have been made either by Agnitio or by Nuance and neither company have responded to our requests for information. Clearly our voice was not recognised!