Boy, I don’t know about you, but when I get on an airplane, I cannot understand what the captain is trying to tell me when he speaks through the loud speakers. I assume he is welcoming us on board and telling us about the flight pattern and upcoming weather that might affect the smoothness of the flight. Who knows? I sure don’t. And when there are announcements in the terminal…. I get concerned that it might be about my flight. I hear; I just don’t understand what they are saying.

Sports arenas are just as bad. Who knows what is being announced to the crowd over the loud speakers?

I was really excited to learn that thanks to research from the University of Edinburgh, scientists have reportedly developed software that can alter speech before it is broadcast over speakers, making it more audible amid background noise. According to these scientists, listeners in loud situations pay most attention to the parts of speech that are easiest to hear and use those to decipher what is being said.

Using a mathematical computer program (I knew I should have paid more attention in math classes), speech is analyzed and enhances the sounds that help listeners hear what is being said. In tests, the manipulated speech was found to be much easier to understand than natural speech.  The same scientists said that the techniques used in the study could be used to improve Smartphone voices, loudspeaker announcements or loud speaker systems.

I can hardly wait to take another airline flight. Maybe the pilot will offer a free trip or drink if you can understand what he says.