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JP2002027586

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This translation is machine-generated. It cannot be guaranteed that it is intelligible, accurate,
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DESCRIPTION JP2002027586
[0001]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a
speaker connected to an information processing apparatus such as a personal computer, and
more particularly to a speaker used in a personal computer used in a business environment.
[0002]
2. Description of the Related Art Conventionally, an electrodynamic speaker that emits an audible
sound as it is has been used as a means for emitting voices and musical tones generated by an
information processing apparatus such as a personal computer. However, a personal computer
having a sound function realized by an apparatus called a sound card for emitting voice or
musical tone is usually a large number of personal computers usually used in a hobby or the like.
This is generally used in the field of hobby mainly to reproduce various warning sounds emitted
by personalizing customized warning sounds etc. and to emit musical tones such as music CDs. It
is because
[0003]
On the other hand, personal computers used in a business environment are less likely to
customize warning sounds and the like, and are relatively strong enough to use relatively simple
sounds such as beeps. There was no need to use the sound feature. Therefore, most business-use
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PCs are not equipped with a sound card from the beginning, and even if a sound card is installed,
most speakers are sold separately.
[0004]
[Problems to be Solved by the Invention] However, with the widespread use of OA equipment in
recent years, one personal computer is used per person in many business environments, and the
usage patterns are extremely diverse even in business environments. It has become In particular,
there is a great deal of diversification of content for reproducing sounds including sounds on
personal computers, and there are cases where the above-mentioned sound function is required
even in a business environment.
[0005]
For example, while content by voice information has conventionally been limited to the field of
taste such as data CDs attached to magazines, in recent years various types such as catalogs and
product introductions necessary for work, company information, etc. As information has been
digitized, such information has evolved not only to text and images but also to audio.
[0006]
Furthermore, as the network environment used from personal computers is ready, it is also
necessary to reproduce audio information and image information with audio, which is called
streaming broadcasting, in a business environment.
Furthermore, the method of using the personal computer in the business environment is not
limited to this, and in the past, conferences using a telephone line were mainstream, but
teleconferences and video conferences using a network are used instead of telephones Cases are
coming up.
[0007]
As another example, only a conventional book such as a library is handled, and even in an
environment where silence is required, information that can not be referred to without using a
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2
personal computer along with recent computerization is available. It has been generated. In
addition, some physical media such as video tapes have changed to large ones, and some
operations such as electronic libraries have come out, in which information stored collectively by
digital information on a server is referred to by a personal computer connected via a network. In
some cases, a computer is installed in a library or the like for reference to such information.
[0008]
As described above, according to the use of the sound function which has been made
unnecessary conventionally, for confirmation of operation, confirmation of erroneous operation
or processing error, and notification of arrival of mail in preparation of a document, drawing or
image. There have been cases where acoustic information has been used.
[0009]
Thus, for example, in the case of sound information that is desired to be heard not only by the
user of the personal computer such as the streaming broadcast of the greetings from the
president but also to the people around the room, an electrodynamic speaker used in a normal
personal computer There is no problem even if you use the sound information that you do not
want to hear in the surroundings or sound information that only the user of the PC can hear is
undesirable to leak to the surroundings.
In particular, it is only necessary for the user to listen to the mail ringing tone or the sound
indicating an erroneous operation or an error occurrence, and it is confusing to make a sound
that the surrounding people can hear.
[0010]
Also, when a large number of people work in a quiet environment, making loud noise may be
noise to the surrounding people. Therefore, although it is usual to wear headphones in a library
etc., there is a restriction that it can not be serviced to a clean user. Furthermore, when using it in
a business environment, even if it is still possible to put on headphones in an audio conference
that is played back continuously in a specific short period of time, put on headphones until an
error sound or a warning sound. If you try to listen to it, you will always be physically bound
while working on a personal computer, which is bothersome and unrealistic.
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[0011]
On the other hand, as a means for solving the inconvenience of headphones, there is a parametric
speaker. The theory of this parametric speaker has existed for a long time, and its application has
only a few ideas and is not generally used. Also, since the sound function of a personal computer
is used for various purposes by different users, it may be required to use high sound quality, and
instead of having superdirectivity, high frequency distortion is large and bass can not be
reproduced sufficiently. It is difficult to adopt only parametric speakers that have the
disadvantage of having such disadvantages, and as a matter of fact, personal computers that use
parametric speakers have not been sold.
[0012]
Therefore, the present invention has been made in consideration of the above circumstances, and
needs for listening to high-quality sound information and using specific sounds without regard to
others. In order to respond to the needs that only the listener should hear, it is necessary to emit
sound in a wide area with little directivity and to transmit no sound to the surroundings with
directivity. An object is to provide an information processing apparatus that can be used
properly.
[0013]
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is an information processing apparatus
capable of outputting an audio signal to a speaker, wherein directivity is capable of reproducing
an audio signal output from the information processing apparatus. An electrodynamic
loudspeaker that has almost no electric power, and a superdirective parametric loudspeaker that
outputs an audio signal obtained by modulating an audio signal output from the information
processing apparatus into a signal in a frequency band higher than the audible band and
reproducing and outputting the audio signal And an information processing apparatus
characterized by comprising switching means for switching between the electrodynamic speaker
and the parametric speaker for reproducing the audio signal.
[0014]
Here, from the viewpoint of easiness of installation and direction adjustment of directivity, etc.,
the electrodynamic speaker and the parametric speaker are incorporated into one case, and the
information processing apparatus and the display apparatus are provided as separate cases. Is
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preferred.
However, if emphasis is placed on the ease of installation, it may be incorporated in the housing
of an information processing apparatus or the housing of a display apparatus used together with
the information processing apparatus.
However, the electrodynamic speaker and the parametric speaker are provided as separate
housings, or one of them, in particular, the parametric speaker is created as a separate housing
from the information processing apparatus and the display apparatus, and the arrangement
according to the use form by the user You may be able to
[0015]
Also, the parametric speaker uses ultrasonic wave transmitting elements such as 5 to 20, for
example, and modulates audio signals into signals in a frequency band higher than the audible
band, thereby transmitting ultrasonic waves to those ultrasonic wave transmitting elements. You
may output it by.
[0016]
The information processing apparatus according to the present invention is not limited to a
general-purpose computer such as a personal computer or a work station, but may be a set top
box specifically designed for a specific application such as an Internet web browser. It is an
information processing apparatus used for various different purposes.
[0017]
In the present invention, the switching means may be, for example, a changeover switch for
exclusively turning on / off the power supply of the electrodynamic speaker and the parametric
speaker, and the electrodynamic speaker and the parametric of the audio signal outputted from
the information processing apparatus. It is possible to use a physical changeover switch that
exclusively switches the route sent to the speaker or an electronic switch that can be switched in
response to a control signal output by software processing of the information processing
apparatus.
[0018]
Further, the switching means is not limited to the switch, and for example, the volume balance
can be switched steplessly by changing the amplification factor of the electrodynamic speaker
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and the parametric speaker symmetrically or changing them individually. Can be used to control
the volume.
[0019]
Also, the speaker system of the present invention may be provided with display means for
indicating which speaker is currently in operation.
The display means may use, for example, an LED, and in addition to the case of displaying by one
LED, two or more LEDs may display an active speaker.
Furthermore, when adjusting the volume balance of both speakers, a display means may be
provided to indicate the volume balance in gradation.
The display means is preferably provided in the same case as the speaker, but may be one of the
screen displays of a display device attached to a personal computer or the like.
[0020]
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The present invention will be
described in detail based on the embodiments shown in the drawings.
The present invention is not limited by this. FIG. 1 shows a block diagram of a first embodiment
of the present invention. Here, in the information processing apparatus, parametric speakers (3a,
3b) with high directivity and loudspeakers (2a, 2b) can emit sounds in a wide range area as they
are, and electrodynamics with almost no directivity And a selector switch (5a, 5b) for exclusively
switching the two types of speakers.
[0021]
The speaker housing is connected to the audio output terminal 11 of the personal computer 1 to
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constitute the information processing apparatus of the present invention. That is, the changeover
switch (5a, 5b) and the audio output terminal 11 are connected, and any one of the parametric
speakers 3a, 3b and the electrodynamic speakers 4a, 4b passes through the changeover switch
(5a, 5b). It is connected to the output terminal 11.
[0022]
FIG. 1 schematically shows a stereo type speaker system in which two speaker enclosures are
disposed on the left and right of the personal computer 1, and it is determined whether the audio
output terminal 11 is a terminal different from the right or the left Although described as above,
these terminals are not limited to independent left and right terminals, and a combination of left
and right terminals such as a stereo pin jack may be used. Furthermore, the present invention is
not limited to the stereo type, and only one speaker housing may be connected to the personal
computer 1.
[0023]
FIG. 2 is a front view of the speaker case (2a, 2b) according to the first embodiment of the
present invention. The parametric speakers (3a, 3b), the electrodynamic speakers (4a, 4b), and
the changeover switches (5a, 5b) are attached to predetermined positions of the housing, but the
positions are arranged as shown in FIG. It may be changed suitably according to a use etc.,
without limiting to. Also, the user may be able to adjust the directions of the two speakers. For
example, if the parametric speakers (3a, 3b) can be adjusted to be directed to the user at the
center of the personal computer, the confidentiality can be further enhanced.
[0024]
In FIG. 2, the changeover switches 5a and 5b are shown as push type switches, but the present
invention is not limited to this. The push type switch is, for example, "secret mode" in the push
ON state and "normal mode" in the push OFF state. Here, the "secret mode" refers to a state in
which the parametric speakers 3a and 3b are connected to the personal computer 1 and the
electrodynamic speakers 4a and 4b are not connected. The "normal mode" means, conversely, a
state in which the electrodynamic speakers 4a and 4b are connected to the personal computer 1
and the parametric speakers 3a and 3b are not connected. In this embodiment, two types of
speakers can be switched as needed only by the user performing an easy operation.
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[0025]
FIG. 3 shows the first embodiment of the present invention to which an activation display unit is
added. The activation display unit is a display indicating which speaker is currently in a state
where sound can be output. For example, as shown in FIG. 3, the LED 15 may be provided beside
each of the speakers 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b. 16 should be provided.
[0026]
FIG. 4 shows a block diagram of the second embodiment of the present invention. Although the
speaker housing provided with the manual push-type changeover switch is shown in FIG. 2, the
speaker housing capable of switching the changeover switches 5 a and 5 b by the operation of
the personal computer 1 is shown here. The personal computer 1 is provided with an audio
output terminal 11 and a control signal output terminal 12 for operating the changeover
switches 5a and 5b.
[0027]
Switching control as to whether terminals 51 and 52 of changeover switches 5a and 5b are
connected or terminals 51 and 53 are connected by a control signal output from control signal
output terminal 12 of personal computer 1 Is done.
[0028]
In addition, amplifiers 13 and 14 are provided between the parametric speakers 3a and 3b and
the electrodynamic speakers 4a and 4b and the changeover switches 5a and 5b, as required.
The control signal output from the control signal output terminal 12 of the personal computer 1
can be output controlled by key input or mouse operation on the personal computer 1.
[0029]
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FIG. 5 shows a block diagram of a third embodiment of the present invention. Here, an
adjustment volume is provided instead of the changeover switch of the first embodiment. In the
first embodiment, the speaker from which the sound is emitted is switched to either the
electrodynamic speaker or the parametric speaker. However, in this embodiment, the sound is
outputted from both the speakers and the volume is adjusted. It is.
[0030]
FIG. 5 shows an embodiment in which one adjusting volume 6 is provided in the speaker
housings 2a and 2b. When the adjustment volume 6 is turned to the left, the sound is output only
from the "normal mode", that is, from the electrodynamic speakers 4a and 4b, but as it is turned
to the right, the sound from the electrodynamic speakers is delayed And the sounds coming out
of the parametric speakers 3a and 3b become louder gradually. And when it turns to the full
right side, it becomes "secret mode" where a sound is outputted only from parametric speakers
3a and 3b.
[0031]
According to this embodiment, switching of both speakers can be adjusted not only in binary but
also in an analog manner, and the parametric speaker can produce a high directivity sound while
the parametric speaker slightly deviates from the sound axis. In any case, it is possible to cope
with situations where you want to make the voice and music slightly audible.
[0032]
Although FIG. 5 shows the case where the volume of both speakers is controlled by one adjusting
volume, the volumes for adjusting the volumes of the dynamic speakers 4a and 4b and the
parametric speakers 3a and 3b are separately provided. It may be provided in
[0033]
FIG. 6 shows a block diagram of the fourth embodiment of the present invention.
Here, an embodiment in which the volume circuit 7 that can be controlled by the personal
computer 1 is provided in the speaker housing is shown.
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Audio signals output from the audio output terminal 11 of the personal computer 1 are sent to
the parametric speakers 3a and 3b and the electrodynamic speakers 4a and 4b via the amplifiers
17 and 18, respectively.
[0034]
On the other hand, the control signal output from the control signal output terminal 12 of the
personal computer 1 is given to the volume circuit 7. The volume circuit 7 adjusts the amplifiers
17 and 18 so as to achieve predetermined volume balance in response to the control signal. The
control signal may be set by key input of the personal computer 1 or mouse operation. According
to this, the same sound can be output from both the electrodynamic speaker and the parametric
speaker at the volume balance intended by the user.
[0035]
For example, when the user of the personal computer 1 is working on document preparation,
etc., or when the sound mainly outputted is an operation error sound or a mail ringing tone, the
volume circuit 7 is in the "secret mode". Make settings for audio output. In this way, the output
sound is heard only by the user and does not bother other people. Conversely, if you want to
listen to music and other people around you as well, you can use an appropriate volume if you
set the volume balance to be between "Normal mode" and "Secret mode". The same sound can be
heard by both the person and the surrounding person.
[0036]
Further, when so-called voice data such as music and sound data to be heard only by the user
such as operation error sound and mail ringing tone can be separately output from the personal
computer 1, the voice data is the electrodynamic speaker 4a. , 4b, and sound data may be output
from the parametric speakers 3a, 3b.
[0037]
In this case, the volume circuit 7 does not have to be provided in the speaker housing, and the
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personal computer 1 may directly control the output of audio data and acoustic data.
In this case, it is preferable to separately provide a terminal for outputting audio data and a
terminal for outputting acoustic data to the personal computer 1.
[0038]
Further, the user may be able to set in advance which sound is to be sound data or sound data by
means of the personal computer 1. In this way, it is possible to ensure the secrecy of the sound
data that only the user can hear by the user's intention, and the sound data that may be heard by
the surrounding people can be output with a loud sound.
[0039]
FIG. 7 is a block diagram of a speaker system provided with an audio balance display in the third
embodiment of the present invention. Here, in the sound volume balance display 8, as shown in
the figure, a plurality of LEDs are arranged in parallel, and a predetermined number of LEDs are
lighted corresponding to the sound volume balance. According to this, it is possible to easily
visually confirm how much the current volume balance ratio is.
[0040]
The embodiments of the present invention are described below. (Supplementary Note 1) An
information processing apparatus capable of outputting an audio signal to a speaker, the
electrodynamic speaker having little directivity capable of reproducing an audio signal output
from the information processing apparatus, and the information processing apparatus A
superdirectional parametric speaker that outputs an audio signal obtained by modulating an
audio signal output from the audio signal into a signal in a frequency band higher than the
audible band and reproducing and outputting the audio signal; and the electrodynamic type
reproduction of the audio signal An information processing apparatus comprising: a speaker; and
switching means for enabling switching of the parametric speaker. (Supplementary Note 2) A
display device connected to an information processing apparatus capable of outputting an audio
signal to a speaker, the electrodynamic speaker having almost no directivity capable of
reproducing an audio signal output from the information processing apparatus And a
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superdirective parametric speaker for outputting an audio signal obtained by modulating an
audio signal output from the information processing apparatus into a signal in a frequency band
higher than an audible band and reproducing and outputting the audio signal; A display device
characterized in that reproduction can be switched between the electrodynamic speaker and the
parametric speaker. (Supplementary Note 3) A loudspeaker system connected to an information
processing apparatus capable of outputting an audio signal to a loudspeaker, the electrodynamic
loudspeaker having almost no directivity capable of reproducing an audio signal output from the
information processing apparatus And a superdirective parametric speaker for outputting an
audio signal obtained by modulating an audio signal output from the information processing
apparatus into a signal in a frequency band higher than an audible band and reproducing and
outputting the audio signal; A speaker system characterized in that reproduction can be switched
between the electrodynamic speaker and the parametric speaker. (Supplementary Note 4) The
apparatus according to Supplementary Notes 1 to 3, wherein the electrodynamic speaker and the
parametric speaker are incorporated in the same casing. (Supplementary Note 5) The parametric
speaker uses five to twenty ultrasonic transmitting elements, and transmits the audio signal to
the ultrasonic transmitting elements at a frequency higher than the audible frequency band and
at a resonant frequency of the ultrasonic transmitting elements. An apparatus according to any of
the preceding claims, characterized in that it outputs modulated ultrasound sound.
(Supplementary Note 6) The apparatus according to supplementary notes 1 to 5, wherein the
information processing apparatus is any one of a personal computer, a work station, and a set
top box.
(Supplementary Note 7) The device according to Supplementary note 1 to 6, wherein the
switching means comprises an electrodynamic speaker and a switch circuit that switches the
parametric speaker exclusively. (Supplementary Note 8) The switching means includes adjusting
means capable of outputting the volume of the electrodynamic speaker and the parametric
speaker at an arbitrary volume, and the adjusting means individually or symmetrical the volume
balance of the electrodynamic speaker and the parametric speaker The device according to any
one of claims 1 to 6, characterized in that (Supplementary note 9) The apparatus according to
supplementary notes 1 to 8, further comprising display means for displaying the operation state
of the electrodynamic speaker and the parametric speaker. (Supplementary note 10) The
apparatus according to supplementary notes 8 and 9, wherein the display means indicates the
volume balance of the electrodynamic speaker and the parametric speaker in a gradational
manner.
[0041]
According to the present invention, the information processing apparatus according to the
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present invention allows the user to hear the output sound only for the user or for the
surrounding people to hear it. It can be easily set. Further, by providing the volume balance
adjusting means, the degree of secrecy of the sound to be output can be easily controlled by the
user's intention.
[0042]
Brief description of the drawings
[0043]
1 is a block diagram of a first embodiment of the present invention.
[0044]
2 is a front view of the speaker housing of the first embodiment of the present invention.
[0045]
FIG. 3 is a configuration diagram in which an activation display unit is added to the first
embodiment of the present invention.
[0046]
4 is a block diagram of a second embodiment of the present invention.
[0047]
5 is a block diagram of a third embodiment of the present invention.
[0048]
6 is a block diagram of a fourth embodiment of the present invention.
[0049]
7 is a configuration diagram provided with a volume balance display in the third embodiment of
the present invention.
[0050]
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Explanation of sign
[0051]
DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 1 personal computer 2a, 2b speaker housing 3a, 3b parametric
speaker 4a, 4b electrodynamic speaker 5a, 5b selector switch 6 adjustment volume 7 volume
circuit 8 volume balance display 11 audio output terminal 12 control signal output terminal 13,
14 amplifier 15, 16 activation display unit 17, 18 amplifier 51 terminal 52 terminal 53 terminal
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