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JP2008067178

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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 JP2008067178
The present invention relates to different directional characteristics for each of a plurality of
receiving terminals that receive voice data transmitted from a transmitting terminal having a
sound collecting means via a communication network and perform sound emission control of
voice according to the voice data. Allows you to specify A transmitting terminal having a nondirectional microphone and two or three bi-directional microphones whose directional axes are
orthogonal to each other, and transmitting an audio signal output from each microphone via a
communication network, A plurality of receiving terminals for receiving an audio signal
transmitted from the sound collecting terminal via a communication network, and at least one of
the plurality of receiving terminals being designated to cause the user to designate the
directional axis direction of the sound collecting terminal Voice communication characterized by
comprising: means; and output means for adding an audio signal received through the
communication network at an addition ratio corresponding to the pointing axis direction
specified by the specifying means and outputting the result to a speaker Provide a system.
[Selected figure] Figure 1
Receiving terminal and voice communication system
[0001]
The present invention relates to a technology for picking up a sound to be picked up at a high S /
N (Signal / Noise) ratio, and in particular, achieves a high S / N ratio by using in combination
microphones having different directional characteristics. Related to technology.
[0002]
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1
Various techniques have been conventionally proposed to realize sharp directivity characteristics
in order to be able to pick up a target sound to be picked up with a high S / N ratio, and
examples of such techniques include so-called microphone arrays and patents The techniques
disclosed in the documents 1 to 3 can be mentioned.
Here, the microphone array is an array of microphones having the same directivity (for example,
uni-directionality) and realizes sharp directivity by using the arrival time difference of sound
waves to each microphone. It is. On the other hand, Patent Documents 1 to 3 combine
microphones with different directional characteristics (for example, nondirectional microphone
and bidirectional microphone), and appropriately adjust the addition ratio of output signals of
each microphone by DSP (Digital Signal Processor) or the like. There is disclosed a technique for
realizing sharp directional characteristics by Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open No. 5994993 Patent No. 3599 653 Patent No. 3279040
[0003]
However, since the microphone array is configured by arranging a large number of microphones,
there is a problem that the device size of the entire microphone array becomes large and difficult
to handle, and the cost of the device becomes high. . In addition, in the microphone array, since
the arrival time difference of the sound waves is used, there is a problem that the sound quality
of the collected sound is significantly deteriorated by the Comb filter effect if the sound source
deviates from the directional axis direction. For this reason, when the sound source of each
sound source is picked up with the directivity axis directed to each of a plurality of sound
sources sequentially (hereinafter, also referred to as "switching of focus destination") or the
sound source is moving It is difficult to pick up sound with good sound quality. In addition, in the
speaker array, since delay control is added to the audio signal output from each microphone, the
signal waveform becomes discontinuous (that is, the picked up audio becomes discontinuous).
There is also.
[0004]
On the other hand, although the techniques disclosed in Patent Documents 1 to 3 can
appropriately set the directivity according to the position of the sound source, when the position
of the sound source changes successively (for example, the sound source is moving) In the case
where the focus destination is sequentially switched among a plurality of sound sources), it is not
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possible to change the directivity characteristic by following the change. Further, in the
techniques disclosed in Patent Documents 1 to 3, when there are a plurality of sound sources and
there are a plurality of terminals reproducing the sound picked up by those techniques, the
sound of the sound source different for each terminal is reproduced I can not do it.
[0005]
The present invention has been made in view of the above problems, and when the sound
emitted by each of a plurality of sound sources is picked up and each of the plurality of terminals
is made to reproduce the sound, the sound of the sound source differs for each terminal The
purpose is to provide a technology that makes it possible to play
[0006]
In order to solve the above problems, the present invention collects the sound in sound data
representing a sound collected by each of a nondirectional microphone and two or three
bidirectional microphones whose directional axes are orthogonal to each other. Receiving means
for receiving the sound data from a transmitting terminal for transmitting by giving an identifier
indicative of a microphone, a user interface for causing each of the microphones to specify an
amplification factor for an output signal of the microphone, and the reception An output that
amplifies the sound data received by the means to the microphone corresponding to the sound
data after amplification by the amplification factor specified by the user interface, converts the
addition result into an audio signal, and outputs it to a speaker And a receiving terminal
characterized by comprising:
[0007]
In a more preferable aspect, the receiving terminal includes storage means for storing sound data
received by the receiving means, and the output means is configured to communicate with the
transmitting terminal from the storage means. It is characterized in that sound data is read out,
the sound data is amplified by an amplification factor designated by the user interface and then
added, and an audio signal according to the addition result is outputted to the speaker.
[0008]
Further, in order to solve the above problems, the present invention collects the sound in sound
data representing a sound collected by each of a nondirectional microphone and two or three
bidirectional microphones whose directional axes are orthogonal to each other. A plurality of
transmitting terminals that transmit an identifier indicating a microphone that has made a sound
and a plurality of receiving terminals that receive sound data transmitted from the transmitting
terminals, at least one of the plurality of receiving terminals being each of the microphones And
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a user interface that allows the user of the own terminal to specify an amplification factor for the
output signal of the microphone, and an amplification factor specified by the user interface for
the microphone corresponding to the sound data. Output means for converting the result of the
addition into an audio signal and outputting it to a speaker. Providing voice communication
system characterized and.
[0009]
In a more preferable aspect, the voice communication system receives sound data transmitted
from the transmission terminal, classifies and stores the sound data for each identifier given to
the voice data, and transmits the stored sound data. And a storage device which adds an
identifier corresponding to the sound data and returns the identifier to the transmission source
of the request when the request is received, the user interface of the plurality of receiving
terminals. The receiving terminal having the terminal transmits the request according to the
instruction of the user of the terminal, and receives the sound data returned from the storage
device according to the request, and the received sound data is output by the output unit. The
microphone corresponding to the sound data is amplified by the amplification factor specified by
the user interface and then added, and the addition is performed. The result is converted into the
audio signal is characterized by outputting to the speaker.
[0010]
In another preferable aspect, the voice communication system, the transmission terminal
includes an imaging unit, transmits image data representing an image captured by the imaging
unit, and the receiving terminal includes the user interface, The image data component
transmitted from the transmission terminal is received, and an image data component
representing an image in the directional axis direction designated through the user interface is
extracted from the image data, and an image according to the image data component It is
characterized by displaying.
[0011]
According to the present invention, it is possible to collect the sound emitted by each of a
plurality of sound sources, and to reproduce the sound of a different sound source for each
terminal when reproducing each of the plurality of terminals. Play an effect.
[0012]
Hereinafter, embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to the
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drawings.
(A: First Embodiment) (A-1: Configuration) FIG. 1 is a view showing a configuration example of a
voice communication system 10 according to an embodiment of the present invention.
As shown in FIG. 1, the voice communication system 10 includes, for example, a transmitting
terminal 100 connected to a communication network 300 such as the Internet, and receiving
terminals 200A and 200B similarly connected to the communication network 300. There is.
Since the receiving terminal 200A and the receiving terminal 200B have the same hardware
configuration, FIG. 1 shows a detailed hardware configuration only for the receiving terminal
200A.
Hereinafter, when it is not necessary to distinguish between the receiving terminals 200A and
200B, it is described as "receiving terminal 200".
Although FIG. 1 exemplifies the case where the voice communication system 10 includes two
receiving terminals, the number of receiving terminals included in the voice communication
system 10 is not limited to two. Of course, it may be three or more.
Further, although the case where the communication network 300 is the Internet will be
described in the present embodiment, it goes without saying that the communication network
300 may be a LAN (Local Area Network), a WAN (Wide Area Network), or the like.
The point is that the communication network 300 has a function of mediating data
communication performed between the transmitting terminal 100 and the receiving terminal
200 according to a predetermined communication protocol (for example, IP (Internet Protocol)). ,
It does not matter the type.
[0013]
As shown in FIG. 1, the transmitting terminal 100 has microphones 110a, 110x and 110y, A / D
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converters 120a, 120x and 120y, and a communication interface (hereinafter "IF") unit 130. . In
the following, when it is not necessary to distinguish each of the microphones 110a, 110x and
110y, it is simply expressed as "microphone 110" and it is not necessary to distinguish each of
the A / D converters 120a, 120x and 120y. Is simply described as "A / D converter 120".
[0014]
Among the three microphones of the transmission terminal 100, the microphones 110x and
110y are bi-directional microphones, and the microphone 110a is a non-directional microphone.
In the present embodiment, the directivity levels of these three microphones are all the same.
[0015]
The three microphones 110y and 110a are positioned so that the pointing origin is located on
the vertical axis (FIG. 2A: Z axis) in the housing of the transmission terminal 100 installed
substantially perpendicular to the ground. The microphones 110x are placed in this order (see
FIG. 2A). In addition, the microphones 110x and the microphones 110y are arranged such that
their directivity axes are orthogonal to each other. Hereinafter, the directional axis direction of
the microphone 110x is referred to as an X axis direction, and the directional axis direction of
the microphone 110y is referred to as a Y axis direction. FIG. 2 (b) is a diagram showing the
directivity characteristics of the three microphones. In FIG. 2B, the directivity characteristic of the
microphone 110a is represented by an alternate long and short dash line, the directivity
characteristic of the microphone 110x is represented by a solid line, and the microphone 110y is
represented by a dotted line. In the present embodiment, the case where the three microphones
are placed in the order of the microphones 110y, 110a, and 110x will be described. However, it
is a matter of course that the microphones 110x, 110a, and 110y may be placed in order. The
point is that the pointing origins of the three microphones should be located on the Z-axis, and
the pointing axis of the microphone 110x and the pointing axis of the microphone 110y may be
disposed orthogonal to each other.
[0016]
The A / D converter 120 is a microphone corresponding to the corresponding microphone 110
(for example, the A / D converter 120a). Similarly, the A / D converter 120x corresponds to the
microphone 110x, and the A / D converter 120y corresponds to the audio signal output from the
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A / D converter 120y. The digital data (hereinafter referred to as "voice data") is output to the
communication IF unit 130. It is needless to say that the A / D converter 120 is not essential
when the voice data is output from the microphone 110.
[0017]
The communication IF unit 130 is, for example, a NIC (Network Interface Card), and is connected
to the communication network 300. The communication IF unit 130 receives a communication
message (hereinafter referred to as a communication start message) to request the start of
communication according to the predetermined communication protocol via the communication
network 300, the control unit (not shown) A / D converter is established under control until the
communication connection is established with the transmission source, and thereafter a
communication message (hereinafter, communication end message) indicating that the
communication connection is to be disconnected is sent from the establishment destination. Each
time voice data is received from 120, the voice data is transmitted to the communication
connection establishment destination. It should be noted that the communication start message
and the communication end message contain a communication address assigned to the
transmission source in order to make the transmission terminal 100 uniquely identify the
transmission source. It is identical to the communication message sent and received according to
the communication protocol of
[0018]
More specifically, when the communication IF unit 130 receives audio data from the A / D
converter 120 in the state where the communication connection is established, a predetermined
header conforming to the communication protocol is added to the audio data. The packet is
attached to generate a packet, and this packet is transmitted to the establishment destination.
The header includes three identifiers of a transmission source identifier, a transmission
destination identifier, and a data identifier, and the transmission source identifier includes a
communication address (for example, an IP address) assigned to the transmission terminal 100.
The communication address assigned to the establishment destination (that is, the
communication address of the transmission source of the communication start message) is set in
the transmission destination identifier. On the other hand, the data identifier is an identifier
indicating whether the audio data included in the packet generated as described above is the
audio data representing the sound collected by any of the three microphones. is there. In the
present embodiment, the communication IF unit 130 adds a header in which “a” is written as a
data identifier to voice data delivered from the A / D converter 120 a to generate a packet.
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Similarly, communication IF unit 130 adds a header in which "x" is written as a data identifier to
the audio data delivered from A / D converter 120x, and the audio data delivered from A / D
converter 120y A header is written with “y” as a data identifier to generate a packet.
Hereinafter, the packet in which the voice data is contained is referred to as "voice data packet".
[0019]
In this way, the voice data packet sent out from the transmitting terminal 100 is appropriately
routed by the network device (for example, a router etc.) included in the communication network
300, and reaches the receiving terminal 200 that is the destination. That is, the transmitting
terminal 100 shown in FIG. 1 picks up sounds around the transmitting terminal 100 with the
above three microphones, and sends three audio data according to the output signals of these
microphones to the receiving terminal 200. Thus, it functions as a sound collection device for
transmitting the sound collection result to the receiving terminal 200. The above is the
configuration of the transmitting terminal 100.
[0020]
Next, the configuration of the receiving terminal 200 will be described. As shown in FIG. 1, the
receiving terminal 200 includes a communication IF unit 210, amplifiers 220a, 220x and 220y,
an adder 230, a D / A converter 240, a storage unit 250, and a user interface (hereinafter
referred to as The “UI” unit 260 and the control unit 270 are included. In the following, when
it is not necessary to distinguish each of the amplifiers 220a, 220x and 220y, it is simply
referred to as "the amplifier 220".
[0021]
The communication IF unit 210 is the NIC described above, and is connected to the
communication network 300. The communication IF unit 210 transmits the communication start
message and the communication end message under the control of the control unit 270, and
receives an audio data packet transmitted from the transmitting terminal 100 through the
communication network 300, and the audio thereof Audio data included in the data packet is
delivered to the amplifier 220. More specifically, the communication IF unit 210 refers to the
data identifier written in the header of the received voice data packet to represent the sound
picked up by the voice data by any of the three microphones 110. It is determined whether it is
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present, and delivered to one of the three amplifiers 220 according to the result of the
determination. For example, audio data representing a sound collected by the microphone 110a
is delivered to the amplifier 220a, audio data representing a sound collected by the microphone
110x is delivered to the amplifier 220x, and sound representing the sound collected by the
microphone 110y is represented. Audio data is delivered to the amplifier 220y.
[0022]
The amplifier 220 amplifies the volume level of the audio data delivered from the communication
IF unit 210 by an amplification factor set via the UI unit 260 described later (in the present
embodiment, the value of the amplification factor is negative). If it is a value, it is amplified and
phase-inverted) and output to the adder 230. The adder 230 adds the audio data output from
each of the amplifiers 220a, 220x and 220y and outputs the result to the D / A converter 240.
The D / A converter 240 outputs the audio data delivered from the adder 230 Digital / analog
conversion, and outputs an audio signal that is the conversion result to a speaker (not shown).
[0023]
For example, the voice signals output from each of the microphones 110a, 110x and 110y are
added in the addition ratio of 0: 1/1/2: 1 / √2 (where √2 is the square root of 2). If the
amplification factor is set, as shown in FIG. 2C, the addition result is a dual having the directivity
axis in the direction of 45 ° counterclockwise from the X axis direction (that is, the directivity
axis direction of the microphone 110x). It represents the sound picked up by the transmitting
terminal 100 for which the directivity characteristic is set. Further, if the respective amplification
factors are set such that the addition ratio is 1/2: 1 / 2√2: 1 / 2√2, the addition result is the
same as shown in FIG. 2 (d). The sound picked up by the transmitting terminal 100 having the
directivity set in the 45 ° direction and having a single directivity will be represented. As
described above, in the receiving terminal 200 according to the present embodiment, by
appropriately setting the amplification factor in the amplifier 220, it is equivalent to the sound
picked up by the transmitting terminal 100 whose directivity characteristic is set according to
the amplification factor. Sound can be output.
[0024]
The storage unit 250 is, for example, a hard disk, and stores a directivity characteristic
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management table shown in FIG. 3 in advance. In this directivity characteristic management
table, assuming that the directivity axis direction of the microphone 110x is 0 °, each directivity
in the direction is 45 ° in 45 ° in a counterclockwise direction with a directivity axis (see FIG.
2). When setting (d), the amplification factor to be set to each amplifier 220 is written. Although
the details will be described later, the directivity characteristic management table is used when
the user designates the directivity characteristic according to the sound source direction of the
target sound to be collected. Further, the storage unit 250 stores in advance the communication
address of the transmitting terminal 100 which is the connection destination of the
communication connection.
[0025]
The UI unit 260 is for providing a user interface for making the voice communication system 10
available to the user, and although a detailed illustration is omitted in FIG. 1, a display unit
comprising a liquid crystal display, a CRT, etc. , An operation unit including a keyboard, a mouse
and the like. More specifically, the display unit displays a directivity characteristic designation
screen shown in FIG. 4 under the control of the control unit 270 described later. A user who
visually recognizes the directional characteristic designation screen operates the operation unit
appropriately and clicks one of the icons I01 to I08 in FIG. 4 to designate a desired directional
axis direction or click the end button B1. By doing this, it is possible to instruct to disconnect the
communication connection. On the other hand, the operation unit delivers the operation content
to the control unit 270 by delivering data (hereinafter, operation content data) according to the
operation content to the control unit 270. For example, when any part in the directional pattern
designation screen shown in FIG. 4 is clicked, the operation unit indicates operation content data
indicating the coordinate value of the click place when the upper left corner of the directional
pattern designation screen is the origin. Is delivered to the control unit 270 to transmit the
operation content.
[0026]
The control unit 270 includes a central processing unit (CPU), a read only memory (ROM), a
random access memory (RAM), and the like although not shown in detail in FIG. 1. The ROM
stores a control program for causing the CPU to execute display of the directivity characteristic
designation screen (see FIG. 4) and processing for setting the amplification factor according to
the directivity axis direction designated by the user to the amplifier 220. There is. Note that, in
the present embodiment, the CPU loads the control program from the ROM into the RAM and
executes it upon the power supply (not shown) of the receiving terminal 200 being turned on.
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The above is the configuration of the receiving terminal 200.
[0027]
(A-2: Operation) Next, among the operations executed by the receiving terminal 200 in
accordance with the above control program, an operation showing the features of the present
invention will be described with reference to the drawings. In the operation example described
below, it is assumed that the transmitting terminal 100 is installed on a circular table on which
eight participants 01 to 08 are seated, as shown in FIG. 5, and the power is turned on. . More
specifically, as shown in FIG. 5, the eight participants are, in the order of participant 01,
participant 02 ... participant 08, in a counterclockwise direction in 45 ° increments from the
directional axis direction of the microphone 110x. We are sitting by one person and holding a
meeting. Hereinafter, the case where the user of the receiving terminal 200A (hereinafter, “user
A”) and the user of the receiving terminal 200B (hereinafter, “user B”) listens to each
participant's speech in the meeting using the receiving terminal 200 The operation will be
described.
[0028]
When the user A or B turns on the power (not shown) of the receiving terminal 200 used by
them, the CPU of the control unit 270 loads the control program from the ROM to the RAM, and
the directivity characteristic setting process shown in FIG. Run. As shown in FIG. 6, first, the
control unit 270 initializes the amplification factor to be set to the amplifier 220 (step SA100).
Specifically, the control unit 270 sets the amplification factor stored in the directivity
characteristic management table (see FIG. 3) to each of the readout amplifiers 220 in association
with 0 °. In the present embodiment, the amplification factor corresponding to the 0 °
direction is set to each amplifier 220 in the initialization process of step SA100, but in the other
direction such as 90 ° direction or 180 ° direction, for example. Of course, the corresponding
amplification factor may be set.
[0029]
Next, the control unit 270 establishes a communication connection with the transmission device
100 (step SA110). More specifically, control unit 270 generates a communication start message,
and transmits the communication start message to transmission terminal 100. The
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communication start message transmitted from the receiving terminal 200 in this manner is
appropriately routed by the various network devices in the communication network 300, and
reaches the transmitting terminal 100. When the transmitting terminal 100 receives the
communication start message, it establishes a communication connection with the receiving
terminal 200, and transmits an audio data packet in which audio data representing a sound
collected by the microphones 110a, 110x and 110y is written. Start.
[0030]
The voice data packet transmitted from the transmitting terminal 100 in this manner is
appropriately routed in the communication network 300 and reaches the receiving terminal 200.
When receiving the audio data packet transmitted as described above, the receiving terminal 200
reads out the audio data included in each audio data packet and delivers it to the corresponding
amplifier 220. In this operation example, as described above, at step SA100, the amplification
factor representing adding the sounds collected by the microphones 110x, 110y and 110a at the
addition ratio of 1/2: 0: 1/2. The addition ratio represents setting of a single directivity
characteristic having a pointing axis in the 0 ° direction in the transmission terminal 100.
Therefore, from the speaker (not shown) connected to the receiving terminal 200A and the
speaker (not shown) connected to the receiving terminal 200B, the content of the speech of the
participant 01 is emitted.
[0031]
Now, in FIG. 6, in step SA120 executed subsequent to step SA110, the control unit 270 causes
the display unit of the UI unit 260 to display the directivity characteristic designation screen (see
FIG. 4) described above. The user A or the user B who visually recognizes the directivity
characteristic designation screen operates the operation unit of the UI unit 260 appropriately to
designate a desired direction as the direction of the directivity axis (in this embodiment, icons I01
to I08). An operation for clicking any of the following: an operation for instructing the end of the
voice communication or an operation for instructing the end of voice communication (in the
present embodiment, an operation for clicking the end button B1: an operation for instructing
the end hereinafter) It is possible to perform any operation (hereinafter, "other operation") which
is neither an operation nor an end instruction operation. Hereinafter, in the present operation
example, the user A designates the 45 ° direction as the pointing axis direction (that is, clicks
the icon I02) by appropriately operating the UI unit 260 of the receiving terminal 200A, and the
user B receives the receiving terminal A case where the direction of 270 ° is designated as the
directional axis direction (that is, when the icon I 07 is clicked) will be described by appropriately
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operating the UI unit 260 of 200 B.
[0032]
When the user performs some operation on the UI unit 260, the UI unit 260 delivers operation
content data representing the operation content to the control unit 270. Then, the control unit
270 analyzes the operation content data delivered from the UI unit 260 to determine which of
the three types of operations has been performed (step SA130). Specifically, the control unit 270
causes the coordinates represented by the operation content data transferred from the UI unit
260 to be in the area corresponding to each of the icons I01 to I08 shown in FIG. 4 or in the area
corresponding to the end button B1. It is determined which operation has been performed by
determining whether it belongs to
[0033]
If it is determined at step SA130 that the "other operation" has been performed, control unit 270
repeatedly executes the processing after step SA120 and waits for the next operation to be
performed. When it is determined in step SA130 that the “end instruction operation” is
performed, control unit 270 sends a communication end message to transmitting terminal 100,
and disconnects the communication connection with transmitting terminal 100. (Step SA140),
and this directivity characteristic setting process is finished. The transmitting terminal 100 that
has received the communication end message transmitted from the receiving terminal 200 ends
the transmission of the voice data packet addressed to the transmission source.
[0034]
If it is determined in step SA130 that the "direction designation operation" has been performed,
control unit 270 reads the amplification factor corresponding to the directional axis direction
designated on the directional pattern designation screen from the directional pattern
management table, The amplification factor is set to each amplifier 220 (step SA150). As
described above, in the present operation example, the user A designates the 45 ° direction as
the pointing axis direction, so the control unit 270 of the receiving terminal 200A selects the
sound picked up by the microphones 110x, 110y and 110a. An amplification factor indicating
conversion at an addition ratio of “1⁄2√2: 1⁄2√2: 1⁄2” is set in the amplifiers 220x, 220y and
220a of the receiving terminal 200A. On the other hand, since the user B designates the 270 °
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direction as the directional axis direction, the control 270 of the receiving terminal 200B sets the
sound picked up by the microphones 110x, 110y and 110a to “0: −1/2: 1. An amplification
factor indicating conversion at an addition ratio of 2/2 "is set in the amplifiers 220x, 220y and
220a of the receiving terminal 200B.
[0035]
As shown in FIG. 5, since the participant 02 is seated in the 45.degree. Direction from the
transmitting terminal 100 and the participant 07 is seated in the 270.degree. Direction, the
operation described above As a result, the speaker of the participant 02 is emitted from the
speaker connected to the D / A converter 240 of the receiving terminal 200A, and the speaker
connected to the D / A converter 240 of the receiving terminal 200B. From this, the speech of
the participant 07 will be emitted.
[0036]
The point to be noted here is that the user A and the user B set different directions as the
directional axes and listen to the desired voice, that is, one set directional axis direction is
different with respect to the other. It is the point which has not influenced.
As described above, according to the voice communication system 10 according to the present
embodiment, the user of each receiving terminal 200 is made to specify a desired directional
characteristic without giving any influence to the sound that another user listens to (( That is,
there is an effect that it becomes possible to focus on any one of the plurality of conference
participants and listen to the speech.
[0037]
(B: Second Embodiment) Next, a voice communication system 20 according to a second
embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to the drawings. (B-1:
Configuration) FIG. 7 is a block diagram showing a configuration example of a voice
communication system 20 according to a second embodiment of the present invention. This
voice communication system 20 differs from the above-described voice communication system
10 in that a transmitting terminal 700 is provided instead of the transmitting terminal 100, and
receiving terminals 800A and 800B are provided instead of the receiving terminals 200A and
200B. It is a good point. Since the receiving terminals 800A and 800B have the same hardware
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configuration, FIG. 7 shows the configuration in detail only for the receiving terminal 800A, as in
FIG. In the following, when it is not necessary to distinguish between the receiving terminals
800A and 800B, it is described as "receiving terminal 800".
[0038]
The configuration of the transmission terminal 700 differs from the configuration of the
transmission terminal 100 in that it has an imaging unit 710 and that a communication IF unit
730 is provided instead of the communication IF unit 130. In FIG. 7, among the components of
transmitting terminal 700, the same components as those of transmitting terminal 100 are
assigned the same reference numerals.
[0039]
The imaging unit 710 is, for example, an omnidirectional camera, captures images of all
directions (viewing angle 360 °) centered on the transmitting terminal 700 at predetermined
time intervals, and transmits image data representing the captured image to the communication
IF unit Deliver to 730. The communication IF unit 730 has a function of generating an audio data
packet in which audio data delivered from each of the microphones 110 is written and
transmitting the same to the receiving terminal 800, as in the communication IF unit 130
described above. A packet (hereinafter, an image data packet) generated by adding a
predetermined header (in the present embodiment, a header in which “g” is set to the data
identifier) to the image data delivered from 710 is transmitted to the receiving terminal 800 It
has a function. The above is the configuration of the transmitting terminal 700.
[0040]
On the other hand, the configuration of receiving terminal 800 is different from the configuration
of receiving terminal 200 in that communication IF unit 810 is provided instead of
communication IF unit 210, and control unit 870 is provided instead of control unit 270. It is.
Also for the receiving terminal 800, the same components as those of the receiving terminal 200
are assigned the same reference numerals. When the communication IF unit 810 receives a
packet through the communication network 300, the communication IF unit 810 determines
whether the packet is an audio data packet or an image data packet with reference to the data
identifier, and determines the audio data packet. The same process as the communication IF unit
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120 described above is performed. On the other hand, when it is determined that the received
packet is an image data packet, the communication IF unit 810 reads the image data written in
the image data packet and delivers it to the control unit 870.
[0041]
The control unit 870 includes a CPU, a ROM and a RAM as in the control unit 270 described
above (all are not shown in FIG. 7). A control program is stored in advance in the ROM, and the
CPU loads the control program into the RAM and executes the control program to realize a
characteristic function of the receiving terminal according to the present invention. It is the same
as the embodiment. However, since the control program stored in the ROM of the control unit
870 is different from the control program stored in the ROM of the control unit 270, the
receiving terminal 800 has a function different from that of the receiving terminal 200. Be done.
More specifically, the control unit 870 operating according to the control program causes the UI
unit 260 to display the directivity characteristic designation screen shown in FIG. As apparent
from FIG. 8, the directivity characteristic designation screen displayed on the UI unit 260 of the
receiving terminal 800 is composed of two areas A01 and A02. In the area A01, eight icons I01
to I08 are drawn as in the directivity characteristic designation screen shown in FIG. The user
can specify a desired pointing axis direction by clicking any of these eight icons. On the other
hand, in the area A02, an image representing an image component in the direction of the
pointing axis designated by the user among the image data received from the transmission
terminal 700 is displayed. More specifically, when the control unit 870 operating according to
the control program receives image data from the communication IF unit 810 under the situation
where the pointing axis direction is designated by the user, the pointing unit is instructed from
the image data Only image data representing an image component in the axial direction is
extracted, and after predetermined processing such as distortion correction is performed, an
image according to the image component is displayed in the area A02. The above is the
configuration of the receiving terminal 800.
[0042]
(B-2: Operation) FIG. 9 is a flowchart showing a flow of directivity characteristic designation
processing executed by the CPU of the control unit 870 in accordance with the control program
stored in the ROM of the control unit 870. The directivity characteristic designation process
shown in FIG. 9 differs from the directivity characteristic designation process shown in FIG. 6 in
that the direction setting process described above (step SA150) when the determination result in
step SA130 is "direction designation operation". Besides, after the image display process (step
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SB160) in the directional axis direction is performed, the processes after step SA120 are
repeated.
[0043]
In step SB160, control unit 870 extracts only the image component in the direction of the
pointing axis designated by the user from the image data delivered from communication IF unit
810, and the image is displayed according to the extraction result, as shown in FIG. The UI unit
260 is controlled to be embedded and displayed in the area A02 of the directivity characteristic
designation screen shown in FIG. As a result of the operation described above being performed,
as shown in FIG. 10A, the directivity characteristic designation screen in which the image focused
on the participant 02 is embedded in the area A02 is displayed on the display unit of the
receiving terminal 800A. Then, as shown in FIG. 10B, the directivity characteristic designation
screen in which the image focused on the participant 07 is embedded in the area A02 is
displayed on the display unit of the receiving terminal 800B. The speaker 02 connected to the
receiving terminal 800A emits the voice of the participant 02, and the speaker connected to the
receiving terminal 800B emits the voice of the participant 07, as described above in the first
embodiment. It is the same as the voice communication system according to the embodiment.
[0044]
(C: Modification) Although the embodiment of the present invention has been described above, it
is needless to say that the following modification may be added to the embodiment. (1) In the
first and second embodiments described above, the case has been described in which all of the
receiving terminals included in each voice communication system are receiving terminals
according to the present invention, but at least one is according to the present invention Of
course, other receiving terminals may be conventional receiving terminals that add the output
signals of the respective microphones at a preset addition ratio.
[0045]
(2) In the first and second embodiments described above, the user is made to specify the
direction of the pointing axis from the eight directions of 45 ° from 0 ° to 315 °, for example,
by 30 ° Of course, the direction of the directional axis may be specified more finely, such as
every 15 °. For example, when the direction of the pointing axis is specified by the user in steps
04-05-2019
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of 30 °, the transmitting terminal has a single directivity having the pointing axis in each of 12
directions from 0 ° to 30 ° in steps of 330 °. When setting to, the amplification factor to be
set to each amplifier 220 may be stored in the directivity characteristic management table. In the
first and second embodiments described above, the user is made to specify the direction of the
directional axis by clicking the icon displayed on the directional characteristic specification
screen, but a numerical value indicating the direction of the directional axis Alternatively, the
user may specify the direction of the pointing axis by keyboard input.
[0046]
(3) In the first and second embodiments described above, the transmitting terminal 100 includes
two bi-directional microphones and non-directivity arranged so that the directivity axes are
orthogonal to each other on the plane on which the transmitting terminal 100 is installed. The
case of having a microphone has been described. However, the transmitting terminal may be
configured using three bi-directional microphones and one non-directional microphone arranged
so that the directional axes are orthogonal to each other. In this way, it is possible to set the
pointing axis in the whole sky direction on the receiving terminal side.
[0047]
(4) In the second embodiment described above, the omnidirectional camera is used as the
imaging unit 710. However, a plurality of cameras whose imaging directions are fixed in the
directions that can be specified by the user on the receiving terminal 800 may be used. For
example, in the case where the user designates the directional axis direction out of eight
directions from 0 ° to 45 ° in steps of 315 °, the eight cameras whose imaging directions are
fixed in any of these eight directions are imaged A means 710 may be provided in the
transmitting terminal 700 to generate an image data packet for each camera.
[0048]
(5) In the embodiment described above, when the communication IF unit of the receiving
terminal receives an audio data packet, the case has been described where the audio data
included in the audio data packet is delivered to the corresponding amplifier. However, if the
voice data and the data identifier contained in the received voice data packet are handed over to
the control unit and stored in the storage unit, and a communication connection is not
04-05-2019
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established with the transmitting terminal, Of course, the audio data may be read out to
reproduce the audio. Also, a voice data packet transmitted from the sending terminal is received,
and a storage device storing the voice data classified by its data identifier is connected to the
communication network 300, and a voice data transmission request is received from the
receiving terminal. In this case, of course, the voice data packet may be generated again by the
storage device, and the voice data packet may be delivered.
[0049]
(6) In the embodiment described above, the directivity characteristic management table shown in
FIG. 3 is stored in the storage unit 250 of the receiving terminal, and designated by the user in
step SA150 of the directivity characteristic setting process shown in FIG. The amplification factor
corresponding to the designated directional axis direction is read out from the directional pattern
management table and set in each amplifier 220, whereby a single directional pattern having a
directional axis in the sound source direction of the target sound (see FIG. 2D) The case of
realizing However, with the directional axis direction of the microphone 110 x as 0 °, it
corresponds to each of eight directions up to 315 ° in 45 ° steps in counterclockwise direction
with 0 °, and has a directional characteristic of positive phase in that direction and A directivity
characteristic management table (see FIG. 11) in which the amplification factor to be set in each
amplifier 220 is written when reproducing bi-directional characteristics (see FIG. 2C) having
directivity characteristics of negative phase in the 180 ° opposite direction. May be stored in
the storage unit 250 instead of the directivity characteristic management table shown in FIG. In
this way, it becomes possible to emit a sound equivalent to the sound picked up by the
transmitting terminal for which each bi-directional characteristic is set, from the speaker
connected to the receiving terminal.
[0050]
(7) In the embodiment described above, the amplification factor corresponding to the direction
designated by the user is read out from the directivity characteristic management table and set in
each amplifier 220 to reproduce unidirectivity having the directivity axis in that direction. The
case was described. However, it is also possible to determine so as to specify the sound source
direction from the output signal of each microphone 110, and to deform so as to automatically
set the single directivity having the directional axis in the sound source direction.
[0051]
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FIG. 12 is a block diagram showing a configuration example of the receiving terminal 900
capable of automatically setting the directivity characteristic. The configuration of receiving
terminal 900 shown in FIG. 12 is different from the configuration of receiving terminal 800 (see
FIG. 7) in that control unit 970 is provided instead of control unit 870, and amplifiers 920a,
920x and 920y (these When it is not necessary to distinguish each of the three amplifiers, it is a
point having “an amplifier 920” and an adder 930. In FIG. 12, the same components as those
of the receiving terminal 800 are denoted by the same reference numerals.
[0052]
In the receiving terminal 900 shown in FIG. 12, the three audio data output from the
communication IF unit 810 are each divided in two, one is supplied to the corresponding
amplifier 220, and the other is supplied to the corresponding amplifier 920. Specifically, audio
data representing the sound collected by the microphone 110x is supplied to the amplifier 220x
and the amplifier 920x. Each amplifier 920 amplifies the audio data supplied from
communication IF unit 810 at the amplification factor set by control unit 970, and outputs the
amplified data to adder 930. Adder 930 is delivered from each amplifier 920 Audio data is added
and delivered to the control unit 970. The ROM (not shown) of the control unit 970 stores a
control program that causes the CPU of the control unit 970 to execute the directional
characteristic setting process characteristic of the present modification. The CPU of the control
unit 970 By executing the control program, the directivity characteristic setting process shown in
FIG. 13 is performed. Further, timing data indicating the timing at which the determination of the
sound source direction is to be performed (for example, each time a predetermined time elapses
from when the power of the receiving terminal 900 is turned on and the time from that point) is
written in the ROM.
[0053]
More specifically, when the power (not shown) of the receiving terminal 900 is turned on, the
CPU of the control unit 970 reads the control program from the ROM and executes the control
program while using the RAM as a work area. FIG. 13 is a flowchart showing the flow of
directivity characteristic setting processing executed by the control unit 970 operating according
to the control program. As shown in FIG. 13, the control unit 970 executes the initialization
process (step SA100) and the communication connection establishment process (step SA110) as
in the control unit 270 and the control unit 870 described above, and then the sound source
04-05-2019
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direction is changed. It is determined according to the timing data stored in advance in the ROM
whether it is necessary to determine (step SC100). Thereafter, control unit 970 repeatedly
executes the process of step SC100 until the determination result of step SC100 becomes
“Yes”, and when the determination result becomes “Yes”, initializes direction parameter φ
(step SC110). . Specifically, control unit 970 sets direction parameter φ to a value indicating 0
°.
[0054]
Next, control unit 970 reads the amplification factor corresponding to direction parameter φ at
that time from the directivity characteristic management table (see FIG. 3) and sets it in amplifier
920 (step SC120). As a result, the voice data output from the adder 930 becomes voice data
equivalent to the case where it is picked up by a transmitting terminal having a directivity set in
the direction indicated by the direction parameter φ and having a single directivity set. . Thus,
the control unit 970 that has received the audio data output from the adder 930 measures the
signal strength of the audio signal represented by the audio data, associates the measurement
result with the direction parameter φ at that time, and Write to (step SC130). Although the
modification (7) describes the case where the audio data output from the adder 930 is delivered
to the control unit 970 as it is, the audio data is delivered to the control unit 970 via a band pass
filter having a predetermined passband. You may For example, by using a band pass filter having
a pass band equal to the human voice band, it is possible to eliminate the influence of noise other
than human voice.
[0055]
Then, control unit 970 adds a value indicating a predetermined angle (45 ° in the present
embodiment) to direction parameter φ (step SC140), and determines whether measurement of
signal intensity in all directions is completed. It determines based on the value of (step SC150).
Specifically, when the value of direction parameter φ is a value indicating 360 °, control unit
970 determines that the measurement of the signal strength has been completed for all
directions. Then, when the determination result in step SC150 is "Yes", control unit 970 executes
the processes after step SC160, and conversely, in the case where the determination result in
step SC150 is "No", step S150. The processing after SC120 is repeatedly executed. As a result, in
the present embodiment, the signal strength is stored in the RAM for each of eight directions
from 0 ° to 45 ° in steps of 315 °.
04-05-2019
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[0056]
In step SC160 subsequently executed when the determination result in step SC150 is “Yes”,
control unit 970 is associated with the largest signal strength among direction parameters φ
stored in RAM. Identify the sound source as a direction parameter representing the sound source
direction. Then, control unit 970 reads an amplification factor corresponding to direction
parameter φ specified in step SC160 from the directivity characteristic management table and
sets it in each amplifier 220 (step SC170), and further displays an image of that direction on the
display unit. It is displayed (step SC180). Thereafter, control unit 970 determines whether or not
the end of the directivity characteristic setting process is instructed (step SC190), and when the
determination result is “No”, repeatedly executes the process after step SC100. On the other
hand, when the determination result is "Yes", the communication connection is disconnected as in
the control unit 270 and the control unit 870 (step SA140), and the directivity characteristic
setting process is ended. As a result of the above-described operation being performed, in the
receiving terminal 900, a single signal having a directional axis in the direction in which the
signal strength is maximum (ie, the sound source direction of the target sound) at each timing
indicated by the timing data. The directivity is set, and a sound equivalent to the case of setting
and collecting the single directivity is emitted from the speaker connected to the receiving
terminal 900, and the image in the directional axis direction is received by the receiving terminal
900. Will be displayed on the display unit of the In the search process of the sound source
direction from step SC120 to step SC160, since the amplification factor of the amplifier 920
different from the amplifier 220 is changed, the process is also connected to the receiving
terminal 900 in the execution process of this search process. There is no effect on the directional
characteristics of the sound emitted from certain speakers.
[0057]
Further, although the modification (7) describes the case where the storage unit 250 stores the
directivity characteristic management table shown in FIG. 3, both of the directivity characteristic
management tables shown in FIGS. 3 and 11 are stored in the storage unit 250. In step SC120,
the amplification factor of each amplifier 920 is set with reference to the directivity
characteristic management table shown in FIG. 3 to search for the sound source direction, and
one direction is identified as the sound source direction. In this case, the amplification factor of
each amplifier 920 is set with reference to the directivity characteristic management table shown
in FIG. 3 in step SC170 (that is, uni-directional characteristics are set), and two directions facing
each other as the sound source direction For example, when the 45 ° direction and the 225 °
direction are specified, the amplification factor of each amplifier 920 is set with reference to the
directivity characteristic management table shown in FIG. Bi-directional characteristics having
04-05-2019
22
directional characteristics in both directions may be set. In this way, when one conference
participant is speaking, a unidirectional characteristic having a pointing axis in the direction of
the conference participant is set, and the conference participant is facing the conference
participant When the discussion with the person starts, it will be automatically switched to the
bi-directional characteristic having directional characteristics in the direction of both participants
in the above discussion.
[0058]
(8) In the embodiment described above, the case where the characteristic function of the
receiving terminal according to the present invention is realized by the software module has been
described, but of course it may be realized by the hardware module. In the embodiment
described above, the control program for causing the CPU of the control unit to execute the
processing characteristic of the receiving terminal according to the present invention is written
in advance in the ROM of the control unit. The control program may be recorded and distributed
in a computer-readable recording medium such as a Compact Disk-Read Only Memory) or a DVD
(Digital Versatile Disk), and the control program may be downloaded via a telecommunication
line such as the Internet. Of course, it may be distributed.
[0059]
FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing a configuration example of a voice communication system 10
according to a first embodiment of the present invention. It is a figure for demonstrating the
directional characteristic of each of microphone 110a, 110x, and 110y. FIG. 6 is a diagram
showing an example of a directional characteristic management table stored in a storage unit
250. It is a figure which shows the directivity characteristic designation screen displayed on UI
section 260 of receiving terminal 200. FIG. It is a figure which shows the usage example of the
voice communication system. It is a flowchart which shows the flow of directivity characteristic
setting processing which CPU of the control part 270 performs according to a control program. It
is a block diagram which shows the structural example of the audio communication system 20
which concerns on 2nd Embodiment of this invention. It is a figure which shows the directivity
characteristic designation screen displayed on UI section 260 of receiving terminal 800. FIG. It is
a flowchart which shows the flow of directivity characteristic setting processing which CPU of
the control part 870 performs according to a control program. It is a figure which shows an
example of the directivity characteristic designation | designated screen displayed on UI part 260
of the receiving terminal 800. FIG. FIG. 6 is a diagram showing an example of a directional
characteristic management table stored in a storage unit 250. It is a block diagram which shows
04-05-2019
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the structural example of the audio communication system 30 which concerns on a modification
(7). It is a flowchart which shows the flow of directivity characteristic setting processing which
CPU of the control part 970 performs according to a control program.
Explanation of sign
[0060]
10, 20 ... voice communication system, 100 ... transmitting terminal, 110, 110a, 110x, 110y ...
microphone, 120, 120a, 120x, 120y ... A / D converter 130, 210, 730, 810 ... communication IF
unit 200 , 200A, 200B, 800, 800A, 800B, 900 Reception terminals, 220, 220a, 220x, 220y, 920,
920a, 920x, 920y, Amplifiers, 230, 930, Adders, 240, D / A converters, 250 ... storage unit, 260
... UI unit, 270, 870, 970 ... control unit.
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