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JP2007028220

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DESCRIPTION JP2007028220
PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To provide a technology for reducing an acoustic echo due to a
reflection wave of a sound wave emitted from a speaker when performing bidirectional voice
communication using a voice input / output device provided with a microphone and a speaker.
SOLUTION: A microphone, a speaker having a planar speaker surface and outputting a voice
corresponding to an input voice signal as a plane wave, and a voice signal representing the voice
collected by the microphone through a communication network A communication control unit
that supplies an audio signal received from the other device via the communication network to
the speaker while emitting it to the other device, and emits the sound according to the audio
signal; And a main body for holding the microphone in the vicinity of the speaker while the
speaker surface is inclined by a predetermined angle. [Selected figure] Figure 3
Voice input / output device
[0001]
The present invention relates to a technology for performing voice communication via a
communication network.
[0002]
For example, various techniques have been proposed to enable two-way voice communication
between remote locations, such as a video conference, using a voice input / output device having
a speaker and a microphone and connected to a communication network. There is.
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In this type of audio input / output device, in general, the speaker and the microphone are
disposed close to each other, so the sound emitted from the speaker of the own device is
collected by the microphone of the own device, and the sound such as howling There is a risk of
causing an echo. For this reason, various techniques have been proposed for avoiding the
generation of acoustic echo in the voice input / output device as described above (for example,
Patent Documents 1 and 2). JP, 2003-87887, A JP, 11-18191, A
[0003]
By the way, in order to prevent the sound output from the speaker of the own device from being
directly picked up by the microphone of the own device, it is conceivable to use a flat speaker.
Here, the flat speaker is a speaker that has a flat speaker surface and outputs a sound wave
corresponding to the input audio signal as a flat wave. Since the plane wave has such a
characteristic that the directivity is extremely strong, if the plane speaker and the microphone
are installed so that the installation plane of the plane speaker and the installation plane of the
microphone are at the same plane, both are close to each other. Even in the case of installation, it
is possible to prevent the sound emitted from the flat speaker from being directly picked up by
the microphone and to reduce the acoustic echo.
[0004]
However, since the plane wave has the characteristic that the distance attenuation is small in
addition to the characteristic that the directivity is extremely strong, as shown in FIG. 5, the plane
wave output from the plane speaker is reflected by the opposing wall surface In this case, the
plane wave output from the plane speaker returns without much attenuation. It is not preferable
that sound corresponding to such a reflected wave is picked up by the microphone, which causes
acoustic echo to occur. Also, there is a problem that the sound picked up in this way has a high
volume level, and it is difficult to completely remove the influence even if using an echo canceller
or the like.
[0005]
The present invention has been made in view of the above problems, and when performing
bidirectional voice communication using a voice input / output device provided with a flat
speaker and a microphone, the sound wave (flat wave) output from the flat speaker It is an object
of the present invention to provide a technology that makes it possible to reduce an acoustic
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echo caused by a reflected wave.
[0006]
In order to solve the above problems, the present invention outputs a voice corresponding to an
input voice signal having a planar speaker surface and a voice input unit for picking up voice and
outputting a corresponding voice signal as a plane wave. An audio output unit, and an audio
signal output from the audio input unit is transmitted to the other device via the communication
network, while an audio signal received from the other device via the communication network is
input to the audio output unit A communication control unit for emitting a voice according to the
voice signal, and the voice output unit while holding the speaker surface at a predetermined
angle with respect to the opposing wall surface, and A voice input / output device, comprising: a
main body holding an input unit.
[0007]
According to the present invention, when performing two-way voice communication using a
voice input / output device provided with a flat speaker and a microphone, the acoustic echo due
to the reflected wave of the sound wave (flat wave) output from the flat speaker is reduced. The
effect of being able to
[0008]
The best mode for carrying out the present invention will be described below with reference to
the drawings.
FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing an electrical configuration of a voice input / output device 100
according to an embodiment of the present invention.
As shown in FIG. 1, the voice input / output device 100 includes a voice input unit 110,
amplifiers 120 and 140, a communication control unit 130, a voice output unit 150, and a main
unit 160 for housing these components. Have.
[0009]
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The voice input unit 110 is a microphone array including a plurality of microphones, picks up
the voice of the user, and delivers the voice signal corresponding to the voice to the amplifier
120.
In the present embodiment, although the case where the voice input unit 110 is a microphone
array will be described, it goes without saying that a single microphone may be used. The
amplifier 120 in FIG. 1 amplifies the audio signal delivered from the audio input unit 110 and
delivers it to the communication control unit 130.
[0010]
The communication control unit 130 in FIG. 1 includes a voice codec, an echo canceller, and a
DSU (all not shown), and is connected to a communication network such as an ISDN network, for
example. The communication control unit 130 performs predetermined signal processing (for
example, removal of acoustic echo) on the audio signal delivered from the amplifier 120, and
further converts the audio signal into digital data (hereinafter, audio data) to be transmitted via
the communication network. Audio data received from the other device via the communication
network, converted to an audio signal by analog conversion, subjected to the predetermined
signal processing for the audio signal, and delivered to the amplifier 140 . In the present
embodiment, the communication control unit 130 converts the audio signal delivered from the
amplifier 120 into audio data and sends it to the communication network, while converting the
audio data received via the communication network into an audio signal. Of course, delivery to
the amplifier 140 and transmission to the communication network and reception from the
communication network may be performed as it is, as described in the case of delivery to the
amplifier 140.
[0011]
The amplifier 140 in FIG. 1 amplifies the audio signal delivered from the communication control
unit 130 and delivers the amplified audio signal to the audio output unit 150. The audio output
unit 150 is the above-described flat speaker, and outputs a plane wave corresponding to the
sound represented by the audio signal delivered from the amplifier 140. The above is the
electrical configuration of the voice input / output device 100.
[0012]
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Next, the appearance of the voice input / output device 100 will be described with reference to
FIG. FIG. 2A is a diagram illustrating a face (hereinafter, referred to as “front”) of the voice
input / output device 100 facing the user. As shown in FIG. 2, the front of the main body 160 of
the voice input / output device 100 is formed in a substantially rectangular shape, and the voice
input unit 110 and the voice output unit 150 described above are arranged in order in the
vertical direction from above There is. In addition, the surface on the opposite side to the said
front of the main body 160 is called a "back surface." FIG. 2B is a side view of the main body 160.
As shown in FIG. As shown in FIG. 2B, the side surface of the main body 160 of the voice input /
output device 100 is formed in a trapezoidal shape in which the width becomes narrower as it
goes downward in the vertical direction. In the present embodiment, the front and back surfaces
of the main body 160 are formed to form a predetermined acute angle α. Therefore, for
example, when installing the audio input / output device 100 in a cubic room, the audio output
unit 150 may be installed by placing the back of the main body 160 in close contact with any of
the four side walls of the room. The speaker surface is held in a state of being inclined by the
angle α with respect to the wall surface of the opposing side wall (that is, not parallel to the
opposing wall surface).
[0013]
FIG. 3 is a view showing an example of a two-way voice communication system including the
voice input / output device according to the present embodiment. The two-way voice
communication system includes a voice input / output device 100A installed on the side wall
310A of the cubic room 300A and a voice input / output device 100B similarly installed on the
side wall 310B of the cubic room 300B. The voice input / output devices 100A and 100B are
connected to a communication network 200 which is an ISDN line. Although FIG. 3 describes the
case where two voice input / output devices are included in the two-way voice communication
system, it goes without saying that three or more voice input / output devices may be included.
[0014]
Hereinafter, a case where the user A who is present in the room 300A and the user B who is
present in the room 300B talk using the interactive voice communication system shown in FIG. 3
will be described. Further, in the following, when it is necessary to distinguish each of the
components of the voice input / output devices 100A and 100B, they are described as follows.
For example, the “voice input unit” of the voice input / output device 100A is described as
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“voice input unit 110A”, and the “voice input unit” of the voice input / output device 100B
is described as “voice input unit 110B”. The same applies to the other components.
[0015]
When the user B speaks toward the voice input unit 110B to speak with the user A using the
interactive voice communication system shown in FIG. 3, the voice is collected by the voice input
unit 110B and The corresponding voice data is sent to the communication network 200 by the
communication control unit 130B. The audio data output from the audio input / output device
100B in this manner is received by the communication control unit 130A via the communication
network 200, and a sound wave (plane wave) corresponding to the audio data is output from the
audio output unit 150A. . The sound wave output from the audio output unit 150A in this
manner is heard by the user A, and propagates in the room 300A and the side wall 320A (ie, the
side wall facing the side wall 310A on which the audio input / output device 100A is installed)
The light is incident on the wall surface at an incident angle α, and is reflected by the wall
surface at a reflection angle α.
[0016]
In FIG. 3, the propagation direction of the incident wave to the wall surface of the side wall 320A
is illustrated by a broken line, and the propagation direction of the reflected wave is illustrated
by a dashed-dotted line. As apparent from FIG. 3, at the installation position of the voice input /
output device 100A, the sound pressure level of the reflected wave reflected by the wall surface
of the side wall 320A is considerably small, and the sound corresponding to the reflected wave is
voice It is not picked up by the input unit 110. As a result, it is possible to reduce the acoustic
echo generated by the reflected wave by the wall surface facing the speaker surface of the audio
output unit 150A. Further, even when the user A faces the voice input / output device 100A with
the body parallel to the side wall 310A, the reflection angle of the reflected wave by the body of
the user A is also the above α, so The wave does not return to the installation position of the
voice input / output device 100A. That is, it is possible to reduce the acoustic echo caused by the
reflected wave reflected by the body of the user using the voice input / output device 100.
[0017]
As mentioned above, although one Embodiment of this invention was described, it is needless to
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say that you may deform | transform such embodiment as described below. In the embodiment
described above, the side surface of the main body 160 of the voice input / output device 100 is
formed into a trapezoidal shape in which the width becomes narrower as it goes downward in
the vertical direction, but as shown in FIG. Of course, it may be formed in a trapezoidal shape in
which the width becomes wider as it goes downward in the vertical direction. In the abovedescribed embodiment, although the case where the voice input / output device 100 has only
one voice output unit has been described, it is needless to say that a plurality of voice output
units may be provided. For example, as shown in FIG. 4B, it is of course possible to have two
audio output units 151 and 152. The point is that each of the plurality of audio output units may
be held in a state where the speaker surface is inclined by a predetermined angle (that is, not
parallel) with respect to the opposing wall surface. Further, in the embodiment described above,
the case where the speaker surface of the audio output unit 150 is inclined to make a
predetermined angle in the vertical direction with respect to the opposing wall surface and the
audio output unit 150 is held in the main body 160 has been described. However, it goes without
saying that the main body 160 may be formed in a shape that holds the audio output unit 150 so
as to make a predetermined angle in the horizontal direction.
[0018]
FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing an electrical configuration of a voice input / output device 100
according to an embodiment of the present invention. It is a figure showing the appearance of
the voice input / output device 100. FIG. 2 is a diagram showing an example of a two-way voice
communication system including the voice input / output device 100. It is a figure showing an
example of the voice input / output device concerning a modification. It is a figure which shows
an example of the conventional two-way audio | voice communication system.
Explanation of sign
[0019]
100, 100A, 100B ... voice input / output device, 110 ... voice input unit, 120, 140 ... amplifier,
130 ... communication control unit, 150 ... voice output unit, 160 ... main body, 200 ...
communication network, 300A, 300B ... room 310A, 310B, 320A, 320B ... side walls.
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