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DESCRIPTION JP2000245000

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DESCRIPTION JP2000245000
[0001]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a
hearing aid for facilitating the detection and recognition of speech information which a hearing
impaired person is originating and pronounced around.
[0002]
2. Description of the Related Art In modern daily life, for example, information transmitted via a
voice such as a door chime, a ringing tone of a telephone, or a sound of a kettle informing boiling
of hot water, or a device that transmits information via voice Many means are used.
[0003]
Under such circumstances, a person with a mild hearing impairment has a method of detecting /
recognizing by amplifying the amplified and expanded sound by a hearing aid such as earphones
or the like, there is a problem that, in the case of severe hearing impairment, In the case of a
person who can not hear it, such a method can not be used, and there is no way to obtain any
information outside the field of view, so it is inevitably considerably inconvenient.
[0004]
Conventionally, as a method for solving such a problem, as disclosed in, for example, Japanese
Patent Application Laid-Open No. 10-113360, as shown in the configuration outline shown in
FIG. 5, individual devices (for example, a door chime 1 and a telephone 2 , Etc.) to transmit
information, and a receiver 4 that carries and constantly carries information by the user is used
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in combination.
[0005]
This can be built in existing equipment that transmits voice information, or the transmitter 3
having its own microphone and capable of collecting the voice output of the equipment transmits
the signal electric wave 5 at a specific frequency according to the content of the voice
information At the same time and the receiver 4 which the user (who is in hearing impairment)
carries at all times receives the signal radio waves 5 at these specific frequencies by the antenna
6 and confirms the contents thereof, whereby the information from the equipment It informs
reception and outputs its contents.
[0006]
According to the above publication, the form of the output of the receiver 4 is specifically
converted into a perceptual form other than auditory sense, such as vibrations by the vibrator,
the issuing diode 7 or the liquid crystal monitor display 8, and outputted.
[0007]
However, in the above-described voice information detection system, it is necessary to
incorporate the transmitter 3 in each individual audio information device which needs to be
detected in addition to the receiver 4 which the user always forms, Since it is necessary to set the
frequency of the signal radio waves 5 to be transmitted and received together for each audio
information device and information content by both the device 3 and the receiver 4, the facility
cost and the operation cost have been increased, and the setting takes time and effort .
[0008]
Since the equipment that incorporates the transmitter 3 is limited to those that operate
electronically, for example, an unexpected accident such as whistle sound of a kettle informing of
the boiling of hot water or sound of a dish broken by dropping without knowing It can not deal
with the sounds generated by, so its scope of application was quite limited.
[0009]
Therefore, it only has to be used only indoors in which a large number of corresponding
transmitters are installed, and it has become extremely low versatility.
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Even when the volume of the volume is also an important information element, it is only
necessary for the transmitter 3 to transmit a signal wave 5 of a certain level only when it is
determined that the volume has reached a preset volume level, Since the magnitude of its output
is only at a certain level also in device 4, it was impossible to recognize quantitative information
as described above.
[0010]
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention has been made in view of the above
problems, and it is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a voice communication
system and a voice communication system in which voice information transmitted / generated
around even a person with hearing impairment (here, voice means not only human voice but also
various sounds , Which enables easy and accurate detection and recognition, and has a wide
range of use and high general versatility.
[0011]
In order to solve the above-mentioned problems, the present invention is constituted as follows.
First of all, the present invention is applied to a hearing aid device for recognizing what kinds of
sounds are transmitted / pronounced around the hearing impaired person, and converts the
externally detected sound wave into an electric sound signal An audio signal amplifying means
for amplifying the audio signal, a frequency filter for passing only a frequency component in a
specific frequency band from the audio signal, an output signal passing through the frequency
filter, And output means for converting the information into perceptual information other than
auditory sense and outputting the information.
[0012]
This makes it possible to detect and recognize only specific sound information by means of the
device itself without being affected by unnecessary sound or noise among all sound information
occurring / pronounced in the surroundings even by a person with impaired hearing .
[0013]
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Also, the frequency filters are arranged in parallel in different frequency bands.
As a result, it is possible to detect and recognize a plurality of specific sound information with the
device itself.
[0014]
The frequency filter can arbitrarily set the frequency band.
With this arrangement, it is possible to arbitrarily select voice information required by the user
other than the electrically operated device, for example, to detect and recognize only the device
itself Become.
[0015]
Also, the voice input means is constituted by a microphone having directivity.
As a result, it is possible to detect voice information only by the specific device limited to a
specific fixed device while suppressing the influence of ambient noise to the minimum.
[0016]
Further, the voice input means is composed of a non-directional microphone.
This makes it possible to grasp the surrounding situation over a wide range by the device alone
at the time of going out and the like.
[0017]
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Also, the output means is configured to perform output proportional to the level of the output
signal.
This makes it possible to recognize quantitative elements of each voice information.
And outputting is performed by a method in which the output means acts on tactile sense or
vision.
[0018]
This makes it possible to easily and accurately detect and recognize ambient sound information
even by a person with impaired hearing.
Further, the output means has a configuration in which a plurality of vibration pads outputted for
each frequency band are displayed on the inner peripheral surface of the wristband.
[0019]
This makes it possible to simultaneously detect and recognize the audio information of a plurality
of frequency bands while visually confirming the surrounding situation. Also, the output means
performs the notification informing the tactile sense of its output, and the output content is
displayed by a method which operates visually.
[0020]
As a result, it is possible to immediately detect the detection of the voice information by tactile
sense which is the same passive perception as the auditory sense, and moreover it is possible to
easily and accurately recognize the contents of the voice information by visual sense which is
active perception.
[0021]
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DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Embodiments of the present invention will
be described below with reference to the drawings.
1 is a schematic configuration diagram of a hearing assistance device 11 according to a first
embodiment of the present invention. In this figure, a microphone 12 is an input device that
collects external sound waves and converts them into electric signals Depending on the collection
form, the user arbitrarily selects one having directivity or omnidirectional one, and the user
arbitrarily selects it, and the amplifier 13 amplifies the input audio signal to a level at which it
can be input to the subsequent frequency filter 14 .
[0022]
Then, an audio signal amplified by the amplifier 13 and mixed with various frequency
components including noise is simultaneously input to the four frequency filters 14 a, 14 b, 14 c,
14 d simultaneously, and each frequency selected arbitrarily by the user Only the frequency
component in the band is passed through and filtered, and each output signal is converted into
vibration by vibrating pads 15a, b, c, d connected to the latter stages, and outputted.
[0023]
This vibration output is performed with an amplitude proportional to the level of each output
signal by a drive circuit (not shown) provided in each vibration pad 15a, b, c, d.
2 is an overall perspective view of the hearing assistance device 11 according to the first
embodiment having the above configuration. In this figure, the main body 16 is fitted in the case
17 and the case 17 is inserted through the belt 18 So that it can be worn on the user's waist.
[0024]
A microphone 12 is embedded in an angular position of the front upper side of the main body 16
in a substantially rectangular parallelepiped. In addition, an amplifier 13, a frequency filter 14,
and a battery (not shown) are installed inside the main body 16.
[0025]
In addition, several control switches are installed on the outer surface of the main body 16, and
by manipulating it, it is possible to turn on / off the entire device and select the setting of the
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frequency band to be detected for each channel .
[0026]
Then, the four oscillating pads 15a, b, c, d which are output devices are shown on the inner
peripheral surface thereof and the velcro tape 19 is stuck thereto, whereby the wristband which
can be wrapped around the user's wrist 20 is connected via the cable 21 connecting the vibration
pad 15 and the circuit inside the main body 16.
[0027]
Hereinafter, the operation of this embodiment will be described with reference to the drawings.
First, the power switch is turned on, and if not set, the frequency band to be detected is set for
each channel which is a combination of the corresponding frequency filter 14 and vibration pad
15.
More specifically, when the channel is selected and the setting button is pressed while inputting
the sound at the specific frequency to be set in the microphone 12, the frequency filter 14
corresponding to the channel selected at that time is The frequency band of the audio
information to be detected is set by storing the specific frequency.
[0028]
Further, the frequency band to be set in the frequency filter 14 is selected within a range of 16 to
20 KHz which is an ordinary human audio frequency.
Further, the above setting of the frequency band may be fixedly set at the time of manufacturing
the factory, and in that case, in particular in the case of an apparatus which needs to reliably
detect the sound like an emergency warning, It is necessary to provide a large number of
frequency filters 14 so that it is possible to set the sound frequencies of as many kinds of
emergency alarm as possible. In this case, only one output device may be provided as a common
exclusive emergency alert.
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[0029]
Then, during normal use in which voice information detection is performed, the wrist band 20
having the vibration pad 15 as an output device is directly wrapped around a wrist or the like,
and the sound signal input of the microphone 12 and the amplifier 13 And only the audio
information in the frequency band set in the frequency filter 14 corresponding to the channel
selected at this time is outputted by the vibration of the corresponding vibration pad 15. Further,
it is also possible to simultaneously select a plurality of channels (or all channels). Even in this
case, since the vibration pads 15 corresponding to the respective channels are separately
juxtaposed and outputable at the same time, each of the vibration output positions Channel
identification is possible. Therefore, it is possible to simultaneously detect and recognize the
audio information of a plurality of frequency bands while visually confirming the surrounding
situation.
[0030]
With the above configuration, it is possible to positively collect ambient sound information with
the apparatus of the present embodiment alone, that is, it is possible to collect sound information
(and its transmission information that can be detected and recognized without requiring a
dedicated transmitter) Source equipment, etc.), it is possible to detect and recognize highly
versatile.
[0031]
Since the vibration output from each of the vibration pads 15 is carried out with an amplitude
proportional to the level of the output signal from each corresponding frequency filter 14, it also
recognizes quantitative information such as the perspective of the position of the transmission
source and changes in other states It becomes possible.
[0032]
If the microphone 12 which inputs voice is strong directivity, for example, what kind of
information (alarm?) Is voice information emitted from a speaker fixed in a noisy circumstance
such as when going out, etc. , Whether it is a human voice or the like), it is extremely effective for
detection and recognition of voice information limited to a specific fixed apparatus while
suppressing the influence of noise to a minimum .
[0033]
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On the other hand, when the microphone 12 is omni-directional and has a plurality of them
around the user's body, it is possible to recognize how quickly the engine sound increases at the
time of going out, etc. It is very effective for grasping the circumstances surrounding the user in
all directions, such as the approach of a vehicle traveling outside the field of view can be
detected.
[0034]
3 is a schematic view of the configuration of a hearing aid apparatus according to a second
embodiment of the present invention, in which the output signal from a plurality of frequency
filters 14 is different from that of the first embodiment The light emitting output is performed by
a plurality of LEDs 33a, b, c, d corresponding to each, and all the output signals are
superimposed and input to one vibration pad 32 to output vibration.
The light emitting output emits light with a brightness (light quantity) proportional to the level of
each output signal by a drive circuit (not shown) of each LED 33, and the other vibration output
is emitted from a drive circuit And oscillates with a constant amplitude when an output signal is
detected even by a small amount.
[0035]
Next, FIG. 4 is an overall perspective view of only the output unit 31 having a configuration
different from that of the first embodiment among the hearing aid devices of the second
embodiment having the above configuration. In this figure, on the inner peripheral surface
thereof A vibration pad 32 is provided at one place of the vibration pad 32 and an LED base 34
in which four LEDs 33a, 33b, 33c, and 33d are embedded is formed on the outer peripheral
surface at a position apart from the vibration pad 32 so as to wind around the user's wrist A
wrist band 35 in a possible form is connected by a cable 36 which connects the vibration pad 32
and the LED 33 to the internal circuit of the main body (not shown).
[0036]
In the operation of the second embodiment, first of all, input and amplification of a sound signal
is performed from the point in time when the apparatus is powered on while a specific frequency
is set to each frequency filter 14 corresponding to the selected channel, The vibration pad 32
starts outputting vibrations at the time when any one of the audio information in the set
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frequency band is detected, and notification of the information detection is promptly notified to
the user.
Then, the LEDs 33 corresponding to the respective frequency bands operate to output the light
quantity proportional to the level of the output signal so that the details of the information
contents can be easily and accurately recognized.
[0037]
In other words, the output means of the whole device is divided into means for immediately
notifying the detection of the voice information by tactile sense which is the same passive
perception as the auditory sense and means for making the content of the voice information
recognized by visual perception which is active perception Therefore, even when voice
information is detected once, notice is given to the user by vibration output without paying
attention in the state where voice information is not normally transmitted, and at the same time,
information content By using the light emission output, it is possible to easily and clearly
recognize the contents of a plurality of information.
[0038]
In addition, according to the present invention, it is possible to convert voice information
received by the auditory sense to other perceptual (tactile, visual) information with absolute
fidelity by achieving high resolution of the frequency band to be demultiplexed, multilayering,
and multiplexing of output means , For example, in the case of improving the reproducibility by
using an output device or the like having a large number of vibration pads, it is necessary to
faithfully convert and reproduce even a change of multiple and subtle melody like haptics such
as classical music Is possible.
[0039]
In addition to the above-mentioned LEDs, as a specific configuration acting on the vision in the
output device, it is also possible to display a level meter or characters by a liquid crystal display
or the like.
[0040]
Further, as a specific output form acting on the tactile sense in the output device, in addition to
the vibration by the vibration pad, it is also possible to output by electrical stimulation as long as
it is in a safe range at a low voltage such as a low frequency treatment device is there.
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[0041]
The mounting style of the output device is not limited to the above wrist band 35. A vibration
pad 32 may be provided on the inner peripheral surface of the belt 18 supporting the auxiliary
device main body 16 and the light emitting output device such as the LED 33 may be mounted
on the upper surface It is also possible to configure such as installing it.
[0042]
As described in detail above, according to the hearing aid apparatus of the present invention, it is
possible to more easily and accurately detect and recognize speech information transmitted /
generated to the surroundings even by a person with hearing impairment In particular, it is
possible to positively collect ambient sound information positively with the device alone, that is,
it does not require a dedicated transmitter, and can detect and recognize voice information (and
its source equipment, etc.) Since it is not limited, detection and recognition with a wide range of
use and extremely versatile use becomes possible.
[0043]
Therefore, by utilizing the present invention, the safety of behavior when a person with hearing
impairment goes out or the like is dramatically improved.
In addition, by advancing the reproducibility of the detected voice information, it is possible to
faithfully faithfully convert and reproduce even subtle sounds such as music and noise in the
crowd to other perceptions (tactile sensations).
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