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DESCRIPTION JP2008177745

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DESCRIPTION JP2008177745
[PROBLEMS] To provide a sound emission and collection system capable of listening to various
living sounds without the need for a hearing impaired person to wear and carry a hearing aid. A
notification sound of a home appliance 101 collected by a sound emission and collection device
1B is transmitted to another sound emission and collection device. In each sound emitting and
collecting apparatus, the sound received from the sound emitting and collecting apparatus 1B is
corrected according to the hearing characteristic. Human hearing is characterized by the fact that
the higher the age, the harder it is to hear the treble range compared to the mid-low range, so we
make corrections to compensate for this. As a result, it is possible to listen to the living sound
generated in each room without the need for a hearing impaired person to wear and carry a
hearing aid. [Selected figure] Figure 6
Sound collection system
[0001]
The present invention relates to a sound emission and collection system that collects sound and
emits sound at a specific point.
[0002]
Heretofore, various hearing aids have been proposed as hearing aids for deaf people.
However, although the hearing aid is effective for listening to the sound emitted immediately
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after the person carrying the hearing aid, there is a problem that the sound emitted from a
distant place is hard to hear.
[0003]
Therefore, the deaf person has a hearing aid equipped with a receiver, the other person has a
transmitter, and the sound collected around the transmitter is transmitted to the hearing aid to
listen to the sound generated from a remote place An apparatus has been proposed (see, for
example, Patent Document 1). JP 2002-330497 A
[0004]
However, the deaf person must always wear or carry a hearing aid (or receiver), which is
troublesome.
[0005]
Further, in the device of Patent Document 1, it is necessary for the speaker to carry the
transmitter as well.
Therefore, it was not possible to listen to the voice of a person who did not carry the transmitter,
and was not able to listen to sounds other than the utterer (living sounds of appliances etc.). Also,
only one direction could be transmitted from the transmitter to the receiver.
[0006]
Therefore, an object of the present invention is to provide a sound emission and collection
system capable of listening to various living sounds without the need for a hearing impaired
person to wear and carry a hearing aid.
[0007]
A sound emission and collection system according to the present invention is a sound emission
and collection system comprising a plurality of sound emission and collection devices connected
via a network, wherein the sound emission and collection device collects sound and outputs an
audio signal. A sound collection unit, a sound emission unit that inputs an audio signal and emits
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sound, and transmits the sound signal output from the sound collection unit to another sound
emission and collection device, and from another sound emission and collection device A
communication unit for receiving an audio signal, and an audio signal received by the
communication unit are corrected, the audio signal is corrected according to the hearing
characteristic, and the corrected audio signal is input to the sound emitting unit And.
[0008]
In this configuration, the sound collected by the sound collection unit is transmitted to another
sound emission and collection device.
In addition, corrections according to the auditory characteristics are performed on the sound
received from another device.
Human hearing is characterized by the fact that the higher the age, the harder it is to hear the
treble range compared to the mid-low range, so we make corrections to compensate for this.
Since the sound after correction is emitted in each sound emission and collection device, the
hearing impaired person can listen to various living sounds without having to wear and carry a
hearing aid.
[0009]
Furthermore, the present invention further includes an audio extraction unit that causes the
communication unit to transmit an audio signal when the audio of the living sound is extracted
from the audio signal output by the sound collection unit and the audio of the living sound is
extracted. It is characterized by
[0010]
In this configuration, the sound of the living sound is extracted from the sound collected by the
sound collection unit.
Since only the sound of the living sound is transmitted to the other sound emission and collection
device, unnecessary sound such as noise is not transmitted and received.
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[0011]
Furthermore, the present invention further includes an acoustic characteristic measurement unit
that measures the acoustic characteristics around the sound emission and collection device by
outputting a measurement sound from the sound emission unit and measuring the sound input
from the sound collection unit, The correction unit is characterized by correcting the audio signal
received by the communication unit based on the acoustic characteristic measured by the
acoustic characteristic unit.
[0012]
In this configuration, the sound emission unit outputs a measurement sound (impulse).
The acoustic characteristics around the device are measured by measuring the impulse response.
The received audio signal is corrected based on this acoustic characteristic. For example, when
the reflected sound is small, the volume is increased.
[0013]
Further, according to the present invention, the sound collection unit further includes a
microphone array formed by arranging a plurality of microphone units, and delaying and
synthesizing an audio signal output from each microphone unit to direct collection of sound in a
predetermined direction. The sound output unit includes a sound collection processing unit that
forms a sound collection beam, and the sound output unit delays a speaker array formed by
arranging a plurality of speaker units and an input audio signal and inputs the delayed signal to
each speaker unit. It is characterized in that it comprises a sound emission processing unit that
forms an audio beam having directivity of sound emission in a predetermined direction.
[0014]
In this configuration, the microphone array forms a sound collection beam having strong
directivity in a predetermined direction, and the speaker array forms a voice beam having strong
directivity in the predetermined direction.
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By forming the sound collection beam, the S / N ratio is improved.
[0015]
Further, the present invention further includes a voice recognition unit that recognizes a user's
uttered voice from the voice signal output from the sound collection unit, the sound collection
processing unit forms a plurality of sound collection beams, and each sound collection is
performed. The direction of the sound source is estimated from the volume level of the beam,
and the sound emission processing unit forms the sound beam in the direction of the sound
source when the speech recognition unit recognizes the speech of the user.
[0016]
In this configuration, a plurality of sound collection beams are formed.
The direction of the sound source is estimated by comparing the volume of each collected sound
beam. For example, it is estimated that there is a sound source in the direction corresponding to
the sound collection beam with the largest volume. When the user's speech is recognized, the
voice beam formed by the corrected voice signal is directed in the direction in which the sound
source is present (ie, the direction in which the user is present).
[0017]
Further, the present invention further includes a voice recognition unit that recognizes a user's
uttered voice from the voice signal output from the sound collection unit, the sound collection
processing unit forms a plurality of sound collection beams, and each sound collection is
performed. The direction of the sound source is estimated from the volume level of the beam,
and the correction unit inputs an audio signal not to be corrected to the sound emission
processing unit together with the sound signal after the correction, and the sound emission
processing unit When the user recognizes the user's speech, the voice beam is formed based on
the voice signal after the correction in the direction of the sound source, and the voice beam is
formed based on the voice signal not corrected in another direction. .
[0018]
In this configuration, a plurality of sound collection beams are formed.
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The direction of the sound source is estimated by comparing the volume of each collected sound
beam. For example, it is estimated that there is a sound source in the direction corresponding to
the sound collection beam with the largest volume. When the user's speech is recognized, the
voice beam formed by the corrected voice signal is directed in the direction of the sound source.
Direct the voice beam formed by the uncorrected voice signal in the other direction. As a result,
the corrected voice is emitted only in the direction in which the user (deaf person) exists, and the
uncorrected voice is emitted in the other direction (for example, the direction in which the user
other than the deaf person exists).
[0019]
According to the present invention, a deaf person can listen to various living sounds without
having to wear and carry a hearing aid.
[0020]
Hereinafter, a sound emission and collection system which is an embodiment of the present
invention will be described with reference to the drawings.
FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing the configuration of a sound emitting and collecting system.
FIG. 2 is a block diagram showing the configuration of the sound emission and collection device.
[0021]
In FIG. 1, this sound emission and collection system includes a plurality of sound emission and
collection devices 1A to 1D connected via a network. The sound emission and collection devices
1A to 1D are installed in the rooms A to D, respectively. The sound emitting and collecting
apparatuses 1A to 1D all have the same configuration and function, and FIG. 2 shows the
configuration of the sound emitting and collecting apparatus 1A as a representative.
[0022]
In FIG. 2, this sound emission and collection device 1A includes a microphone array 2, a speaker
array 3, an echo canceller 4, an input / output interface (I / F) 5, a sound collection processing
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unit 6, and a sound emission processing unit 7. .
[0023]
In the figure, an amplifier at the front end, an A / D converter for converting analog audio signals
to digital, a D / A converter for converting digital audio signals to analog, and a power amplifier
are omitted.
Further, in the present embodiment, unless otherwise specified, all audio signals transmitted in
the sound emission and collection device 1A are digital audio signals.
[0024]
The microphone array 2 has a plurality of (four in the drawing) microphone units 21 to 24
arranged in a straight line, and outputs audio signals collected by the respective microphone
units. The speaker array 3 has a plurality of (four in the figure) speaker units 31 to 34 linearly
arranged, and emits the input audio signals. The number of speaker units and the number of
microphone units are not limited to this example.
[0025]
The sound signal collected by each microphone unit is input to the sound collection processing
unit 6. FIG. 3 is a block diagram showing the configuration of the sound collection processing
unit 6 and the sound emission processing unit 7. As shown in the figure, the sound pickup
processing unit 6 includes an array processing unit 61, a directivity control unit 62, and an audio
extraction unit 63. Further, the sound emission processing unit 7 includes an array processing
unit 71, a directivity control unit 72, and a signal correction unit 73.
[0026]
The array processing unit 61 beam-forms the sound collection directivity of the entire
microphone array 2 by delaying and synthesizing the audio signals collected by the respective
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microphone units. Due to this beamed directivity of sound collection, sound generated in a
specific area is collected with high gain. Note that the beamed directivity of the beam is called a
collected beam.
[0027]
The directivity control unit 62 includes a CPU, and sets the delay amount of the sound collection
signal of each microphone unit in the array processing unit 61. By setting the delay amounts so
that the microphone units are virtually equidistant from the sound collection direction, it is
possible to extract the sound in the sound collection direction with high gain. Further, a plurality
of sound pickup directions can be set at the same time. The directivity control unit 62 sets a
plurality of sound collection directions in advance, and stores the condition of the delay amount
of each microphone unit in a built-in memory (not shown) or the like. The array processing unit
61 splits the sound signal collected by each microphone unit into a plurality of pieces, delays the
sound signals under the conditions set respectively, and combines them to generate sound
collection beams in a plurality of sound collection directions. . The array processing unit 61
outputs the plurality of collected sound beams to the sound extraction unit 63.
[0028]
The sound extraction unit 63 estimates the direction of the sound source and the type of sound
source from the plurality of collected sound beams input from the array processing unit 61, and
uses the collected sound beam corresponding to the direction of the sound source as the main
sound collection beam Output to
[0029]
The speech extraction unit 63 analyzes the speech content of each sound collection beam and
estimates the type of sound source.
Specifically, the voice extraction unit 63 compares the input voice signal with the pattern of the
voice signal stored in advance in a memory (not shown) or the like. The comparison method uses,
for example, a probabilistic model such as a hidden Markov model. When the voice extraction
unit 63 recognizes a specific voice content from the content of the input voice signal, the voice
extraction unit 63 extracts this as a specific voice. The specific sound is a so-called life sound
such as a human voice, an alarm sound of a home appliance, a ringing tone of a telephone, and
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the like.
[0030]
When a specific sound is extracted, the sound extraction unit 63 selects a sound collection beam
corresponding to the specific sound as a main sound collection beam, and outputs the selected
sound collection beam to the echo canceller 4. It is estimated that the sound source is present in
the sound collection direction corresponding to the main sound collection beam. Note that the
sound extraction unit 63 may compare the levels of the plurality of sound collection beams, and
select the sound collection beam having the highest level as the main sound collection beam.
[0031]
The main sound collecting beam has its echo component removed by the echo canceller 4 and is
transmitted to another sound emitting and collecting device through the input / output I / F 5.
The input / output I / F 5 converts the main sound collection beam into a predetermined protocol
and transmits it as sound information to another sound emission and collection device. Further,
the input / output I / F 5 converts voice information received from another sound emitting and
collecting device into a voice signal, and inputs the voice signal to the echo canceller 4.
[0032]
FIG. 4 is a block diagram showing the configuration of the echo canceller 4. The echo canceller 4
includes an adaptive filter 41 and an adder 42, and inputs the audio signal input from the input /
output I / F 5 to the adaptive filter 41 and the sound emission processing unit 7 in the
subsequent stage. The adaptive filter 41 filters the audio signal to generate a pseudo-regression
sound signal simulating a regression audio signal that is routed from the speaker array 3 to the
microphone array 2. The adder 42 cancels the echo component by subtracting this pseudoregression sound signal from the main sound collection beam. The main sound collection beam
from which the echo component has been eliminated is output to the input / output I / F 5. The
main sound collection beam from which the echo component has been eliminated is input to the
adaptive filter 41 and used for updating the filter coefficient.
[0033]
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In FIG. 3, the signal correction unit 73 of the sound emission processing unit 7 corrects the audio
signal input through the echo canceller 4. Specifically, the signal correction unit 73 performs
correction according to the auditory characteristics of the user.
[0034]
FIG. 5 is a diagram showing an example of the correction amount according to the auditory
characteristic of the user. The horizontal axis of the graph shown in the figure represents
frequency, and the vertical axis represents level. The signal correction unit 73 performs
correction such that the audio signal is amplified as the frequency becomes higher as shown in
the graph of FIG. Human hearing has the property that as the age gets higher, the treble range
becomes more difficult to hear than the mid-low range, which is to compensate for this. Note that
the frequency characteristics shown in the figure show an example of the correction amount of
the audio signal, and do not show the aspect of the correction amount corresponding to the
actual hearing characteristic. The signal correction unit 73 performs correction according to, for
example, the auditory characteristics of 70s or more among the characteristics shown in FIG. In
practice, the average hearing characteristic of the deaf person is determined, and correction is
performed to compensate for the hearing characteristic.
[0035]
The mode of the correction amount may be selected by the user. For example, the housing of the
sound emission and collection device 1 is provided with an operation button or the like so that
the user can set age conditions of less than 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s or more. The signal
correction unit 73 determines an auditory characteristic according to the age condition selected
by the user, and performs correction according to the determined auditory characteristic.
[0036]
The audio signal corrected by the signal correction unit 73 is input to the array processing unit
71. The array processing unit 71 branches the audio signal input from the signal correction unit
73 and inputs the branched audio signals to the speaker units 31 to 34 of the speaker array 3.
The array processing unit 71 subjects the audio signals input to the speaker units 31 to 34 to
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delay processing and gain control, thereby forming an audio beam having strong directivity in a
predetermined direction. The sound emitted by each of the speaker units 31 to 34 is intensified
in the region where the phase is common, and conversely is weakened in the region where the
phase is different. Therefore, by controlling the delay amount of the audio signal input to each of
the speaker units 31 to 34, the audio beam can be directed in a specific direction. Note that it is
also possible to output voice beams in a plurality of directions simultaneously. The amount of
delay and the gain of the audio signal input to each of the speaker units 31 to 34 are set by the
directivity control unit 72. The directivity control unit 72 sets the delay amount and the gain
based on the acoustic characteristic of the room.
[0037]
The sound emission and collection device can measure the acoustic characteristics (reflected
sound, reverberation sound, etc.) of the room using the microphone array 2 and the speaker
array 3. The directivity control unit 72 inputs an audio signal of measurement sound (impulse) to
the array processing unit 71, and sets the array processing unit 71 to output a voice beam in a
plurality of directions. The directivity control unit 72 receives the level of the sound collection
beam in each direction from the sound extraction unit 63, and measures an impulse response.
This measures the acoustic characteristics of the room. Based on the measured acoustic
characteristics, the directivity control unit 72 determines in which direction and at what volume
the sound beam should be output, and sets the delay amount and gain of the array processing
unit 71. For example, the sound emission level is set to be higher in the direction in which the
reflected sound is smaller. The acoustic characteristic of the room may be corrected based on a
predetermined characteristic (such as an average acoustic characteristic of the room).
[0038]
The above sound emitting and collecting apparatus transmits and receives audio signals to
construct a sound emitting and collecting system. FIG. 6 is a diagram showing an example of the
operation of the sound emission and collection system. In the figure, the home appliance 101
present in the room B emits a notification sound. Further, in the room C, the user 102 exists. The
microphone array 2 of the sound emission and collection device 1B collects the notification
sound of the home appliance 101. The sound collection processing unit 6 of the sound emission
and collection device 1B extracts the sound of the home appliance 101. When the voice of the
home appliance 101 is extracted, this voice signal is transmitted to the other sound emitting and
collecting apparatus 1A, the sound emitting and collecting apparatus 1C, and the sound emitting
and collecting apparatus 1D via the echo canceller 4, the input / output I / F 5. Ru. In the sound
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emission and collection device 1A, the sound emission and collection device 1C, and the sound
emission and collection device 1D, the sound emission processing unit 7 corrects the received
sound signal with the hearing characteristic, and sets the sound beam according to the acoustic
characteristic of the room. Do. The speaker array 3 outputs an audio beam based on the
corrected audio signal.
[0039]
As a result, after a specific voice (a person's voice, a notification sound of a home appliance, a
ringing tone of a telephone) generated in each room is corrected according to the person's
hearing characteristic in each other room and the acoustic characteristic of each room It is
emitted. Therefore, the user of the hearing impaired can listen to the living sound without having
to wear and carry the hearing aid. Further, even on the transmitting side (speaker), it is possible
to transmit voice without the need to mount a transmitter on a specific person or household
appliance.
[0040]
In addition, the following various application examples are possible for this sound emission and
collection system. Application Example 1 The sound emission and collection device 1 of the
application example 1 changes the correction amount of the signal correction unit 73 according
to the direction in which the listener is present. That is, when the speech extraction unit 63
extracts the speech of the user as a specific speech from the input speech beam, the speech
extraction unit 63 determines that the user is present in this direction. Further, the voice
extraction unit 63 recognizes the user of the hearing impaired user by registering in advance the
voice feature amount of the user of the hearing impaired user in a built-in memory (not shown)
or the like. The voice extraction unit 63 outputs information indicating the direction of the user
of the hearing impaired person to the directivity control unit 72 and the signal correction unit
73. The signal correction unit 73 corrects the audio signal input from the input / output I / F 5
only when the information indicating the direction of the user of the hearing impaired person is
received. Further, the directivity control unit 72 sets the delay amount and the gain so that the
voice beam is output in the direction of the user of the hearing impaired person.
[0041]
In addition, when outputting an audio | voice beam simultaneously to several directions, the
signal correction | amendment part 73 outputs both the audio | voice signal correct | amended
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and the audio | voice signal which is not correct | amended, and the directivity control part 72
respond | corresponds to a deaf person's user's direction. The delay amount is set such that the
voice signal corrected in the direction is output, and the delay amount is set such that the voice
signal not corrected in the direction corresponding to the other direction is output.
[0042]
As a result, only the user of the deaf person emits the corrected voice, and the other users emit
the uncorrected voice. Therefore, the user of the hearing impaired can easily hear the living
sound, and the other users make high-pitched sounds. You can listen to natural sounds that are
not emphasized.
[0043]
Application Example 2 FIG. 7 is a block diagram showing a configuration of a sound emission and
collection system according to application example 2. As shown in FIG.
The same reference numerals as in FIG. 6 denote the same parts as in FIG. 6, and a description
thereof will be omitted.
In the figure, the sound emission and collection devices 1A to 1D installed in the rooms A to D at
the point E are respectively connected via a network, and further, to the sound emission and
collection device 1F at the point F via the Internet 50. Is also connected. That is, the sound
emission and collection device transmits and receives audio signals to and from other points via
the Internet as well as the network in the home.
[0044]
In the example shown in FIG. 7, the notification sound of the home appliance 101 emitted in the
room B at the point E is emitted by the sound emitting and collecting apparatus 1A, 1C, 1D of the
rooms A, C, D at the point E The noise is emitted also in the sound emission and collection device
1F of F. Therefore, the notification sound of the home appliance 101 can also be heard by the
user 103 existing at the point F. Thus, the living sound of each room at point E can be heard at
point F as well.
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[0045]
In this case, since living sounds can be heard at other points, it is suitable for watching over
elderly people. It is also possible for the hearing impaired user to communicate between distant
points.
[0046]
It is a block diagram showing composition of a sound emission and collection system. It is a block
diagram showing composition of a sound emission and collection device. FIG. 3 is a block
diagram showing configurations of a sound collection processing unit 6 and a sound emission
processing unit 7; FIG. 5 is a block diagram showing a configuration of an echo canceller 4; It is a
figure which shows the example of correction | amendment according to the user's auditory
characteristic. It is a figure which shows an example of operation | movement of a sound
emission collection system. FIG. 18 is a block diagram showing a configuration of a sound
emission and collection system according to Application Example 2.
Explanation of sign
[0047]
1-Sound emission and collection device 2-Microphone array 3-Speaker array 4-Echo canceler 5Input-output I / F 6-Sound collection processing part 7-Sound emission processing part
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