Smart Tube: A Biofeedback System for Vocal Training and Therapy Through Tube Phonation

Naoko Kawamura, Tatsuya Kitamura, Kenta Hamada


Tube phonation, or straw phonation, is a frequently used vocal training technique to improve the efficiency of the vocal mechanism by repeatedly producing a speech sound into a tube or straw. Use of the straw results in a semi-occluded vocal tract in order to maximize the interaction between the vocal fold vibration and the vocal tract. This method requires a voice trainer or therapist to raise the trainee or patient’s awareness of the vibrations around his or her mouth, guiding him/her to maximize the vibrations, which results in efficient phonation. A major problem with this process is that the trainer cannot monitor the trainee/patient’s vibratory state in a quantitative manner. This study proposes the use of Smart Tube, a straw with an attached acceleration sensor and LED strip that can measure vibrations and provide corresponding feedback through LED lights in real-time. The biofeedback system was implemented using a microcontroller board, Arduino Uno, to minimize cost. Possible system function enhancements include Bluetooth compatibility with personal computers and/or smartphones. Smart Tube can facilitate improved phonation for trainees/patients by providing quantitative visual feedback.


Cite as: Kawamura, N., Kitamura, T., Hamada, K. (2020) Smart Tube: A Biofeedback System for Vocal Training and Therapy Through Tube Phonation. Proc. Interspeech 2020, 1011-1012.


@inproceedings{Kawamura2020,
  author={Naoko Kawamura and Tatsuya Kitamura and Kenta Hamada},
  title={{Smart Tube: A Biofeedback System for Vocal Training and Therapy Through Tube Phonation}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2020},
  pages={1011--1012}
}