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JP2007081929

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This translation is machine-generated. It cannot be guaranteed that it is intelligible, accurate,
complete, reliable or fit for specific purposes. Critical decisions, such as commercially relevant or
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DESCRIPTION JP2007081929
PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To provide a speaker device etc. capable of emitting sound to a
specific listener by reducing sound leakage to the surroundings of a specific listener. SOLUTION:
A speaker array provided with a plurality of arranged speaker units SP1 to SP8, which is installed
with the sound emitting side of the speaker unit row facing downward, and an obstacle located
under the speaker array And a delay unit 24 for focusing the sound beam so that the sound beam
from the speaker unit row reflected by the object is directed to a plurality of or a single specific
listener in the room. The speaker device 1 is assumed to be. [Selected figure] Figure 5
Speaker apparatus and voice conference apparatus
[0001]
The present invention relates to a speaker apparatus using a speaker array provided with a
plurality of arranged speaker units, and an audio conference apparatus to which the speaker
apparatus is applied, and more particularly to an apparatus for emitting sound intended for a
specific listener. .
[0002]
2. Description of the Related Art A voice conference apparatus (speaker apparatus) for holding a
conference through a teleconference or the like with a remote party located in a remote place
has been widely known.
04-05-2019
1
Such an audio conference device includes a speaker and a microphone (hereinafter referred to as
a "microphone"). Then, this voice conference apparatus has a function of transmitting the voice of
the conference attendee collected by the microphone to the voice conference apparatus of the
other party, and emitting the voice of the other party received from the voice conference
apparatus of the other party from the speaker Functions are provided in parallel (see, for
example, Patent Document 1). This allows a call to be made between the remote party and the
conference attendee can conduct an audio conference with the remote party. JP-A-5-158492
[0003]
In the conventional audio conference apparatus, the non-directional (wide directional range)
speaker is used to emit the speech in the horizontal direction. For this reason, since the sound
propagates horizontally, the reach is wide, and it is difficult to emit the sound only to a specific
listener. That is, even if the voice is emitted toward a specific listener, sound leakage occurs
around the specific listener. For this reason, when using an audio conference apparatus, for
example in an office etc., a voice may be heard also to the other staff of the meeting attendee
who is a specific listener, and it will interfere with the work of other staff.
[0004]
Therefore, in order to solve the above-mentioned problems, the present invention reduces the
sound leakage to the surroundings of a specific listener, and a speaker device and an audio
conference device capable of emitting sound to a specific listener. The purpose is to provide.
[0005]
In order to solve the above-mentioned subject, the following means are adopted in the present
invention.
[0006]
(1) The present invention is a speaker array provided with a plurality of arranged speaker units,
which is installed with the sound emitting side of the speaker unit row facing downward, and an
obstacle located under the speaker array And a directivity control unit for focusing the sound
beam so that the sound beam from the speaker unit row reflected by the light source is directed
to one or more specific listeners in the room. It is a speaker device to be
[0007]
04-05-2019
2
According to the above configuration, the speaker array including the plurality of arranged
speaker units is installed such that the sound output side of the speaker unit row is directed
downward.
As a result, the audio beam is output downward from the speaker unit row.
Then, the sound beam reflected by the obstacle below the speaker array (for example, the desk or
the floor when the apparatus is on the desk) propagates toward the obliquely upper direction of
the obstacle.
[0008]
Then, the directivity control unit performs focusing of the sound beam so that the sound beam
from the speaker unit string reflected by the obstacle is directed to a plurality of specific listeners
in the room.
This makes it possible to output an audio beam with directivity (directed direction and pointing
range) that covers only the position where a particular listener is present and the vicinity thereof.
[0009]
As described above, in the present invention, a sound beam reflected at an obstacle and directed
obliquely upward is controlled to be directed to a specific listener. This makes it possible to
prevent sound leakage to a person who is behind a particular listener (assuming this listener is
facing the direction of arrival of the sound beam). In addition, although the speaker array can
control the directivity of the sound beam, some sound leaks in the sound emission direction. In
the present invention, since a voice beam is output downward from the speaker array, this voice
leakage does not cause a person other than a specific listener to listen to voice.
[0010]
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3
The arrangement of the speaker units may be linear, circular, matrix, honeycomb or the like.
[0011]
(2) The present invention is characterized in that, in the above-described speaker device, a
reflector as the obstacle is provided below the speaker array.
As a result, even if there is no floor surface or a desk or the like that suitably reflects the sound
beam below the speaker array, the sound beam can be suitably reflected by the reflection plate. It
is also possible to fix the positional relationship between the reflector and the loudspeaker array
so that the distance from the audio beam to the reflector is a suitable distance for directing the
reflected audio beam to a particular listener. This allows the reflected sound beam to be suitably
directed to a particular listener.
[0012]
(3) The present invention includes the above-described speaker device and a microphone, and
the speaker device has a function of transmitting and receiving an audio signal for an audio
conference with a remote party audio conference device located at a remote place. An audio
conference apparatus characterized by
[0013]
Here, when the speaker device is installed in a normal office room instead of a conference room
or the like dedicated to audio conferences, other staff members of the meeting attendees are also
present in this room.
The arrangement according to the invention makes it possible to output speech beams of speech
only to the conferees. In addition, it is possible to reduce the sound leakage to the surroundings
of the meeting attendees. This makes it possible to conduct an audio conference without
disturbing the work of the other staff members in the office room by speech.
[0014]
04-05-2019
4
According to the present invention, the sound beam can be output in a pointing direction and a
pointing range that covers only the position where the particular listener is present and the
vicinity thereof. Also, the voice beam directed obliquely upward of the obstacle can be controlled
to be directed to a specific listener. This makes it possible to prevent sound leakage to the person
behind if a particular listener is headed to the loudspeaker array.
[0015]
Further, according to the present invention, since a voice beam is output downward from the
speaker array, it is effective to cause voice leakage in a direction orthogonal to the sound
emission surface to cause a person other than a specific listener to listen to voice. It can be
prevented.
[0016]
An audio conference apparatus which is an embodiment to which the speaker apparatus of the
present invention is applied will be described in detail with reference to FIGS. 1 to 6.
FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of the audio conference device 1. In the figure, the front side of
the audio conference device 1 is described as Y side, the opposite side as -Y side, the right side as
-X side, and the left side as X side.
[0017]
The audio conference apparatus 1 is a long substantially rectangular parallelepiped shape, and is
a long substantially rectangular parallelepiped speaker device in the upper part of the frame 1A
which is a rectangular shape whose side surface in the Y-Y direction in the figure is open. 2 is
provided. The microphone 3 is connected to the speaker device 2 via the connection line 3a. The
speaker array 20 is disposed on the lower surface of the speaker device 2 so that the sound
emission side is directed downward.
[0018]
04-05-2019
5
The speaker array 20 includes eight speaker units SP (SP1 to SP8) arranged in a line shape
downward in the longitudinal direction. When audio signals are input to the speaker units SP1 to
SP8, an audio beam is output from the speaker array 20 so as to be directed downward.
[0019]
The voice beam output downward is reflected by the lower surface 10A of the frame 1A
(hereinafter referred to as the reflector 10A) and directed obliquely upward, and emitted from
the side of the frame 1A in the YY direction in the figure. . The reflecting plate 10A is made of,
for example, a resin and is formed in a flat plate, so that the sound beam can be suitably
reflected. The material of the reflecting plate 10A is not limited to resin as long as the sound
beam can be suitably reflected, and a metal material or the like may be used. Further, the shape
of the reflection plate 10A is not limited to a flat plate, and may be a gently curved shape or the
like.
[0020]
Then, by controlling the input timing of the audio signal to the speaker units SP1 to SP8, the
directivity (beam width and directional direction at the pointing point) of the reflected audio
beam can be adjusted in the longitudinal direction of the speaker device 2 (in the figure). Control
in the X-X direction).
[0021]
The principle of controlling the beam width at the pointing direction and the pointing point will
be described.
Audio is output from each speaker unit SP so as to propagate radially (circularly). When these
voices are simultaneously output, only the components propagating toward each other in phase
coincide and reinforce each other. Then, the component propagating in the other direction is
canceled out by interference between the voices from the adjacent speaker units SP. By this, the
synthesized voice from the speaker units SP1 to SP8 becomes a voice beam.
[0022]
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6
The voice beam is directed downward, and the beam width at the pointing point is substantially
the same as the distance between the speaker units SP1 and SP8. Therefore, the sound beam
reflected by the reflection plate 10A also has substantially the same width as the distance
between the speaker unit SP1 and the speaker unit SP8, and also travels in the front direction of
the audio conference device 1.
[0023]
On the other hand, by setting the delay times D1 to D8 so that the voices from the respective
speaker units SP reach the directivity point simultaneously and with a predetermined beam
width, the directivity direction is such that the voice beam is directed to the directivity point And
control the beam width to a predetermined beam width.
[0024]
FIG. 2 is a diagram for explaining a method of installing the audio conference apparatus 1 shown
in FIG. 1 and directivity control of an audio beam.
Room R is not a meeting room or the like dedicated to audio conferences but a normal office
room. FIG. 2 is a side view of the room R. As shown in FIG.
[0025]
In the room R, two conference attendees h1 and h2 (specific listeners) are seated to face each
other across the conference desk. Then, on the conference desk, the audio conference device 1 is
disposed so that the Y-Y direction (see FIG. 1) comes in the direction in which the conference
attendees h1 and h2 face each other.
[0026]
Thus, as described above, the voice beam output from the hole of the frame 1A is reflected by the
reflecting plate 10A and is output obliquely upward toward the head of the meeting attendees h1
and h2 . For this reason, compared with outputting the voice beam in the horizontal direction to
04-05-2019
7
the meeting attendees h1 and h2, it is effectively prevented that the person located behind the
meeting attendees h1 and h2 listen to the speech. be able to. At the same time, the directivity of
the sound beam can be controlled in the X-X direction in FIG. 2, so that the sound leakage in the
X-X direction can be effectively prevented.
[0027]
Further, although the speaker device 2 can control the directivity of the sound beam, some sound
leaks in the direction orthogonal to the sound emission surface. In this embodiment, since the
voice beam is output downward from the speaker array 20, it is possible to prevent the voice
leakage from causing a person other than a specific listener to listen to voice.
[0028]
The above effect can be obtained by controlling the directivity so that the sound beam reflected
on the ceiling is directed to the meeting attendees h1 and h2 also by the speaker device installed
so that the sound emitting side of the speaker unit SP faces upward. Play. However, in this
configuration, the distance from the output of the voice beam to the reflection on the ceiling to
reach the conferees h1 and h2 is long. For this reason, the degree of attenuation of the voice up
to the meeting attendees h1 and h2 is large, and the voice beam must be output at a large
volume by the amount of attenuation.
[0029]
Since the sound is output at a large volume as described above, there are cases where the
meeting attendees h1 and h2 hear the sound leakage of the sound beam in the direction
orthogonal to the sound emission surface as described above. As a result, the meeting attendees
h1 and h2 listen to both the sound leakage and the sound reflected on the ceiling, which causes a
problem that the sound can not be suitably listened to. In the present embodiment, the abovedescribed effects can be achieved without causing such a problem.
[0030]
04-05-2019
8
FIG. 3 is a view of the room R shown in FIG. 2 as viewed from above. As described above, the
directivity direction and the beam width of the sound beam reflected by the reflector 10A can be
controlled in the X-X direction. In the present embodiment, as shown in FIG. 2, the voice
conference apparatus 1 directs the reflected voice beam to the conference attendees h1 and h2,
that is, the pointing point becomes the head of the conference attendees h1 and h2. To control
directivity. Specifically, each speaker unit SP is provided with a delay time (time indicated by the
arrow in the figure) that causes the voices from the speaker units SP to reach the meeting
attendees h1 and h2 at the same timing. , The voice beam can be directed to the conferees h1
and h2.
[0031]
In FIG. 2 and FIG. 3, the meeting attendees h1 and h2 are seated at opposing positions across the
conference desk. For this reason, if the directivity of the voice beam is controlled to be directed
to either one of the conferees, a narrow orientation can be provided that covers only those
conferees h1 and h2 to both of the conferees h1 and h2. An audio beam can be output in the
range.
[0032]
However, there are cases where the conferees h1 and h2 do not face each other, and in this case,
only by controlling the directivity of the voice beam so as to point at either one of the conferees
h1 or h2, The voice beam can not be directed to both sides. In this case, as shown in FIG. 4, the
speaker device 2 is spread so that the voice beam reaches the meeting attendees h1 and h2 with
a width dimension L covering both areas of the meeting attendees h1 and h2 To output an audio
beam.
[0033]
That is, it is assumed that the voice beam is output from the point P with a spread, and this voice
beam is reflected by the reflection plate 10A and reaches the position of the conference
attendees h1 and h2 with the width dimension L. Here, since the directivity and the beam width
are controlled so as to output the same voice beam as this voice beam, the delay times D1 to D8
are set to values as indicated by solid arrows in the figure. Note that, by outputting the sound
beam with a spread in this way, even if there are a large number of meeting attendees, it is
04-05-2019
9
possible to output the sound beam in a directivity range that covers the large number of
attendees and the vicinity thereof.
[0034]
FIG. 5 is a block diagram schematically showing the configuration of the audio conference device
1 shown in FIG. The audio conference apparatus 1 has a function of transmitting and receiving
an audio signal such as a voice, for example, as the audio conference apparatus 1 of the other
party (hereinafter, referred to as "audio conference apparatus 1 '"). As a result, the voice
conference device 1 causes a voice conference to be performed between the meeting attendees
h1 and h2 who are the users of the own device and the other party who is the user of the voice
conference device 1 ′.
[0035]
The speaker device 2 includes an input / output interface 21, an echo canceller 22, a D / A
(digital / analog) converter 23, a delay unit 24, an amplifier 25, and a control unit 26 in addition
to the speaker array 20.
[0036]
The input / output interface 21 transmits / receives digital audio signals to / from the audio
conference apparatus 1 'connected to the communication cable via the communication cable (not
shown) or the like connected to the connection terminal 27.
The echo canceller 22 receives an audio signal (received audio signal) received from the audio
conference apparatus 1 ′ via the input / output interface 21. The echo canceller 22 uses this
input signal to generate a pseudo signal simulating an echo component output from the speaker
array 20 and fed back to the microphone 3. Then, the echo canceller 22 removes an echo
component by removing a pseudo signal from an audio signal (described later) input from the
microphone 3.
[0037]
04-05-2019
10
The delay units 24 correspond to the directivity control unit of the present invention, and are
provided for the number of the speaker units SP1 to SP8 (eight). Hereinafter, when the respective
delay units 24 are distinguished, numerals similar to the corresponding ones of the speaker units
SP1 to SP8 are added as subscripts. For example, the delay unit 24 corresponding to the speaker
unit SP1 is referred to as a delay unit 24-1.
[0038]
The delay units 24-1 to 24-8 respectively receive the received voice signal from the echo
canceller 22. Delay times D1 to D8 are set in the delay units 24-1 to 24-8, respectively. The delay
units 24-1 to 24-8 correspond to the directivity control unit of the present invention, delay the
input received voice signal by the delay time D1 to D8, and transmit the corresponding amplifier
25 through the D / A converter 23. Focus on the voice beam. That is, according to the values of
delay times D1 to D8 given to the input received voice signal, the delay units 24-1 to 24-8, as
described above, directivities of voice beams in the X-X direction (see FIG. 1). That is, the pointing
direction and the pointing range (beam width at the pointing point) are controlled.
[0039]
The number of D / A converters 23 is equal to the number of delay units 24. The D / A
converters 23 (23-1 to 23-8) receive the received voice signals to which the delay times are
added from the corresponding delay units 24 respectively. The D / A converters 23-1 to 23-8
convert the input received voice signals from digital signals into analog signals and input them to
the corresponding amplifiers 25.
[0040]
The amplifier 25 amplifies the signal level of the input audio signal. The amplifiers 25 are
provided by the number corresponding to the speaker units SP1 to SP8. Hereinafter, in the case
where the respective amplifiers 25 are distinguished, numerals similar to the corresponding ones
of the speaker units SP1 to SP8 are added as subscripts.
[0041]
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11
The amplifiers 25-1 to 25-8 receive the received voice signal from the delay units 24-1 to 24-8
via the D / A converters 23 (23-1 to 23-8). The amplifiers 25-1 to 25-8 amplify the signal level of
the input reception audio signal and input the amplified signal level to the corresponding speaker
units SP1 to SP8. As a result, the voice of the received voice signal is emitted from the speaker
units SP1 to SP8, and the voice of the other party from the voice conference device 1 'is emitted.
[0042]
The control unit 26 includes, for example, a storage unit such as a central processing unit (CPU)
and a memory, and a user interface such as an operation unit. By executing the program stored
in the memory, the control unit 26 controls the operation of each unit of the speaker device 2
such as a call with the audio conference device 1 ′, for example. The control unit 26 calculates
the delay times D1 to D8 and sets them in the delay units 24-1 to 24-8.
[0043]
The delay times D1 to D8 are calculated, for example, as follows. The width dimension
(dimension in the Y-Y direction of FIG. 2) of the conference desk is input from a user such as the
conference attendees h1 and h2 using the operation unit (not shown). And the seating
information on which position (front position, right position, left position) the meeting attendee is
sitting on the X-X side of the speaker device 2 is input from the user using the operation unit Be
done. In addition, in FIG. 3, since the front side is Y side, the seating information of seating at the
left position is input.
[0044]
Meeting attendees usually sit around the conference desk. Therefore, using these pieces of input
information, the control unit 26 can calculate the approximate position of the head of the
meeting attendee. The delay times D1 to D8 are calculated so that the calculated head position
can be used as the directivity direction of the sound beam and the beam width can cover the
head at the directivity point.
[0045]
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12
The user may input the distance from the bottom surface of the speaker device 2 to the head of
the meeting attendee h1 instead of the width dimension of the conference desk. In this case, the
delay times D1 to D8 are calculated using this distance and the seating information.
[0046]
The speaker device 2 further includes a microphone amplifier 28 and an A / D converter 29 in
addition to the above configuration. The microphone amplifier 28 receives an audio signal
(transmission audio signal) from the microphone 3 connected to the connection terminal 30. The
microphone amplifier 28 amplifies the input transmission voice signal and inputs it to the A / D
converter 29. The A / D converter 29 converts the input analog transmission voice signal into a
digital signal and inputs it to the echo canceller 22. The echo canceller 22 removes an echo
component by removing a pseudo signal from the input transmission voice signal as described
above. Then, the transmission voice signal is transmitted to the voice conference apparatus 1 'via
the echo canceller 22-input / output interface 21-communication cable (not shown).
[0047]
As described above, in the present embodiment, the speaker array 20 is disposed such that the
sound output sides of the speaker units SP1 to SP8 are positioned downward. At the same time,
the reflection plate 10A is disposed below the speaker array 20. As a result, the sound beam
output downward from the speaker array 20 and reflected by the reflection plate 10A is directed
obliquely upward. Further, the reflected sound beam is output from the hole of the frame 1A.
Then, the delay times D1 to D8 are set such that the voice beam output from this hole is directed
to the area of the conference desk and the conference attendees h1 and h2 with a beam width
covering the conference attendees h1 and h2. ing.
[0048]
As a result, as shown in FIG. 3, the voice beam propagates only to the conferees h1 and h2, or to
the conferees h1 and h2 and their neighborhoods. For this reason, it is possible to output the
speech for only the meeting attendees h1 and h2.
04-05-2019
13
[0049]
In addition, when a voice beam in the horizontal direction is output to the meeting attendees h1
and h2, sound leakage tends to occur to a person who is in the output direction of the voice
beam. In the present embodiment, the voice beam is output so as to be directed obliquely upward
from below to the meeting attendees h1 and h2. For this reason, such sound leakage to the
surroundings of the meeting attendees h1 and h2 can be effectively prevented.
[0050]
Further, although the speaker array 20 can control the directivity of the sound beam, some
sound leaks in the sound emission direction. In this embodiment, since the voice beam is output
downward from the speaker array 20, it is possible to prevent the voice leakage from causing a
person other than a specific listener to listen to voice.
[0051]
The following modifications can be employed in the present embodiment.
[0052]
(1) In the present embodiment, as shown in FIG. 4, when the meeting attendees h1 and h2 do not
sit at the corresponding positions, the beam width at the pointing point covers the meeting
attendees h1 and h2 The delay times D1 to D8 are set such that the width dimension L is
obtained.
On the other hand, as shown in FIG. 6, a plurality of voice beams having narrow beam widths that
cover only the individual meeting attendees may be output to each of the meeting attendees h1
and h2. In this case, the speaker units SP1 to SP8 may be divided into a plurality of groups, and a
plurality of audio beams directed from each group to another place may be output. Also, all the
speaker units SP1 to SP8 may be shared for each sound beam.
[0053]
04-05-2019
14
(2) In addition, in this embodiment, although the audio conference device 1 is provided with the
reflecting plate 10A, it is not limited to this. For example, the frame 1A may not include the
reflection plate 10A (bottom surface), and the audio conference device 1 may be installed on a
conference desk or a floor surface to reflect an audio beam.
[0054]
(3) In the present embodiment, the number of speaker units SP is eight, but the number is not
limited to this number, provided that at least the number capable of controlling the directivity
and the beam width of the audio beam is disposed. Good.
[0055]
(4) Further, in the present embodiment, the speaker array 20 in which the speaker units SP are
arranged in a line is used.
Therefore, it is not possible to control the pointing direction or the width dimension in the
direction (Y-Y direction in FIGS. 1 and 5) intersecting the arrangement direction. The present
invention is not limited to the configuration of the speaker array 20.
[0056]
For example, the directivity direction and the width dimension in the Y-Y direction may be
controlled by using a speaker array 20A including the speaker units SP arranged in a matrix as
shown in FIG. 7A. Alternatively, a speaker array 20B having speaker units SP arranged in a
honeycomb shape as shown in FIG. 7B may be used in the same manner. Furthermore, the
configuration may be made similarly using a speaker array 20C provided with speaker units SP
arranged in a circular shape as shown in FIG.
[0057]
In this case, by adjusting the output timing to the speaker units SP arranged in the Y-Y direction,
04-05-2019
15
it is possible to adjust the directivity direction and the beam width also in this direction. Further,
since the speaker units SP are arranged in a circle in the speaker array 20C, the sound beam can
have the same beam shape regardless of where it is directed. For this reason, it is not influenced
by the difference in the sitting place of the meeting attendee, and can provide a stable sound.
[0058]
(5) In this embodiment, although the case where the speaker apparatus of this invention was
applied to an audio conference apparatus was demonstrated, it is not limited to this. The present
invention may be applied to a device for outputting sound to a specific listener, for example, an
audio device or AV (Audio-Video) device that outputs music, singing voice, etc. to a specific
listener. You may apply to etc.
[0059]
It is sectional drawing of the apparatus main body of a voice conference apparatus. It is a figure
for demonstrating the installation method of an audio conference apparatus shown in FIG. 1, and
directivity control of an audio | voice beam. It is the figure which looked at the room shown in
FIG. 2 from upper direction. It is a figure for demonstrating the directivity control of an audio |
voice beam in, when the meeting attendees h1 and h2 do not sit facing each other. It is a block
diagram which shows roughly the structure of the audio conference device 1 shown in FIG. It is a
figure for demonstrating directivity control of the audio | voice beam in a modification. (A) is a
top view which shows the speaker array 20A concerning a modification, (b) is a top view which
shows the speaker array 20B concerning a modification. It is a top view which shows the speaker
array 20C concerning a modification.
Explanation of sign
[0060]
1-voice conference apparatus 20, 20A, 20B-speaker array 24 (24-1 to 24-8) -delay unit
(directivity control unit) h1, h2-conference attendee R-room
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