Do you spend much time on conference calls? If so, you know how annoyingly confusing they can be. The sound quality is never very good and you can never tell who is talking because you can’t recognize their voice. Motorola has filed a patent that they hope can do something about that problem.
The company is looking to use the same technology that makes people who can’t sing, like Paris Hilton, sound like they are at least on key. The technology would take a ‘pitch contour’ of each speaker’s voice.
If two or more people have similar voices which are bound to cause confusion, the technology will shift the voices to different semitones. That would make the voices distinctively different and easy to differentiate, but wouldn’t make them sound cartoonish.
Sounds like a good idea – no more embarrassing situations where you think you are listening to Bob, your boss, but it is actually that strange woman in accounting who is always eating cheese.