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JP2010011447

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DESCRIPTION JP2010011447
PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To transmit a user's individual intention to a hearing aid in a
physically and psychologically less burdensome manner. A hearing aid 10 worn by a wearer and
performing hearing compensation for the wearer, at least one microphone 11 and 12 converting
sound into an input signal, and a hearing aid signal generating an output signal from the input
signal Signal processing based on the processing unit 15, the receiver 16 that outputs the output
signal generated by the hearing aid signal processing unit 15 as sound, and the inaudible sound
that is a sound emitted by the wearer and is inaudible from the outside And the hearing aid
signal processing unit 15 outputs an output signal according to the generated control
information when the control information is generated by the hearing aid processing control unit
14. Generate [Selected figure] Figure 2
Hearing aid and hearing aid processing method and integrated circuit used for hearing aid
[0001]
The present invention relates to a hearing aid worn by a wearer and performing hearing
compensation for the wearer.
[0002]
A hearing aid in recent years is equipped with many functions such as directivity control, noise
suppression, and automatic volume adjustment.
01-05-2019
1
For example, the hearing aid is referred to as a wearer (hereinafter referred to as a user), such as
the noise situation around the hearing aid itself. Signal processing (hereinafter referred to as
hearing aid processing) in accordance with the determined environment. Control). In this manner,
the hearing aid can provide better "hearing" to the user by automatically controlling the hearing
aid processing according to the surrounding environment (see, for example, Patent Document 1).
[0003]
However, the sound that the user wants to hear is not uniquely determined by the surrounding
environment. The sound that the user wants to hear changes depending on the situation in which
the individual user is placed or the user's psychology. Therefore, the above-mentioned method in
which the hearing aid automatically determines the surrounding environment and controls the
hearing aid processing according to the determined environment does not necessarily provide
optimal "hearing" for all users. Therefore, when there is a difference between the sound output
by the hearing aid and the sound the user wants to hear, it is required to somehow convey the
intention of the user to the hearing aid.
[0004]
Therefore, conventionally, the hearing aid generally has a switch or the like for transmitting the
intention of the user to the hearing aid in the main body or the attached remote control. FIG. 8 is
a block diagram showing a functional configuration of the conventional hearing aid 100. As
shown in FIG. The hearing aid signal processing unit 115 generates an output signal from the
input signal generated by the air conduction microphone 111. Then, the receiver 116 outputs
the output signal generated by the hearing aid signal processing unit 115 as a sound. The
hearing aid processing control unit 114 determines the surrounding environment based on the
input signal, and outputs control information for controlling the signal processing performed by
the hearing aid signal processing unit 115 according to the determined environment. In addition,
the user can input a control signal to the hearing aid processing control unit 114 using the
hearing aid remote control 200 or a switch or the like provided on the main body of the hearing
aid 100.
[0005]
In addition, as a method for the user to adjust the hearing aid, the test sound data is stored in
advance in the remote device of the hearing aid, and a mechanism capable of reproducing the
stored test sound data is provided in the hearing aid. There is an example which supports
01-05-2019
2
adjustment (for example, refer to patent documents 2).
[0006]
In addition, in the field other than hearing aids, an input interface using voice has been proposed
as one of input interfaces which do not perform manual operation.
Since an input interface using voice can be used casually without the user using a hand, it is
applied to various devices such as a computer, a car navigation system or a mobile phone. In
addition, the hearing aid in which the input interface using an audio ¦ voice was actually
mounted has not been utilized yet. However, since the hearing aid is a small device that is
difficult for the user to handle, an input interface using voice is considered to be useful as an
alternative means of a manual input interface such as a switch.
[0007]
Generally, microphones include air-conduction microphones that detect sound by detecting
vibration of air, and contact-type microphones that detect sound by detecting vibration of a
user's body such as bone or skin. There is. The contact microphones include a bone conduction
microphone that detects a vibration of a user's bone and a meat conduction microphone that
detects a vibration of a user's skin. The contact type microphone generally has a structure in
which a diaphragm that detects vibration of sound is covered with an external sound insulation
wall (case) (see, for example, Patent Documents 3, 4 and 5). In addition, the contact type
microphone is characterized in that noise is less likely to be mixed, and a small utterance can be
detected as compared with a normal air conduction microphone.
[0008]
Patent No. 3865600 Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2007-028609 Japanese Patent No.
3760173 Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2007-101305 Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2007259008
[0009]
As described above, generally, the user controls the hearing aid using a switch or the like
provided on the hearing aid main body or the remote control in order to obtain the sound that
01-05-2019
3
the user desires to hear.
[0010]
However, it is difficult for the hearing aid to reflect the detailed needs of the user according to
the situation just by switching the program or volume of the hearing aid using the switch or the
like.
For example, in the case of a hearing aid that performs adjustment with a switch on the hearing
aid body, if the user wants to switch hearing aid processing, the user must check the position of
the switch using groping or using a mirror or the like.
When switching hearing aid processing with a hearing aid that performs adjustment with the
attached remote control, it is necessary to always carry the attached remote control and take it
out of a pocket or the like to operate it. Therefore, in the conventional configuration, it is difficult
for the user to switch hearing aid processing smoothly.
[0011]
In addition, when the hearing aid automatically determines the surrounding environment to
provide the user with "hearing" according to the environment, the user may feel uncomfortable
due to misrecognition of the hearing aid.
[0012]
In addition, when the user speaks out to control the hearing aid, the user hears around, so there
is a problem that the psychological resistance of the user is large.
[0013]
The present invention solves the above-mentioned conventional problems, and transmits the
user's individual intention to the hearing aid in a physically and psychologically less burdensome
way, and appropriately controls the hearing aid processing according to the transmitted
intention. An object of the present invention is to provide a hearing aid that realizes the "hearing"
that the user desires.
01-05-2019
4
[0014]
In order to achieve the above object, the hearing aid according to the present invention is a
hearing aid that is worn by a wearer and performs hearing compensation for the wearer, and at
least one microphone that converts sound into an input signal; A hearing aid signal processing
unit that generates an output signal from the output unit, an output unit that outputs the output
signal generated by the hearing aid signal processing unit as a sound, and a sound emitted by the
wearer that is not audible from the outside And a hearing aid processing control unit for
generating control information for controlling signal processing based on an audible sound,
wherein the hearing aid signal processing unit is generated when the control information is
generated by the hearing aid processing control unit. The output signal is generated in
accordance with control information.
[0015]
Thus, the hearing aid processing can be controlled based on inaudible sounds that are difficult
for others around the user to hear, so that the user can transmit his / her intention to the hearing
aid without psychological resistance.
Furthermore, since the hearing aid process can be controlled by sound, it is not necessary for the
user to take out the hearing aid remote control from the pocket or confirm the position of the
switch when transmitting the intention to the hearing aid.
That is, it is possible to reduce the physical burden on the user.
[0016]
The microphone includes a first microphone that converts sound transmitted through air into a
first input signal, and a second microphone that converts sound transmitted through the body of
the wearer into a second input signal. The hearing aid signal processing unit generates an output
signal from the first input signal, and the hearing aid processing control unit detects an inaudible
sound using the second input signal, and the detected sound is detected based on the detected
inaudible sound. Preferably, control information is generated.
[0017]
Thus, the inaudible sound can be detected from the sound transmitted through the body of the
wearer, so that the inaudible sound can be detected regardless of the magnitude of the ambient
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noise.
[0018]
Further, the hearing aid processing control unit includes a correlation calculation unit that
calculates a correlation value between the first input signal and the second input signal, and the
correlation value calculated by the correlation calculation unit is smaller than a threshold value.
Preferably, the inaudible sound is detected using a second input signal.
[0019]
This makes it possible to detect an inaudible sound when the correlation between the sound
detected by the first microphone and the sound detected by the second microphone is low, so
that sounds that are not inaudible sounds are detected as inaudible sounds. It is possible to
reduce the possibility of
[0020]
Further, the correlation calculation unit determines, for each time interval, whether the power of
the first input signal exceeds a first threshold and whether the power of the second input signal
exceeds a second threshold. The correlation value is calculated such that the value decreases as
the time period in which the power of the first input signal does not exceed the first threshold
and the power of the second input signal is determined to exceed the second threshold increases.
It is preferable to do.
[0021]
Thus, when the sound detected by the first microphone is small and the sound detected by the
second microphone is large, an inaudible sound can be detected using the second input signal, so
the sound is not an inaudible sound. It is possible to reduce the possibility of detecting a sound as
an inaudible sound.
[0022]
Further, the hearing aid processing control unit includes a noise suppression unit that subtracts
the first input signal from the second input signal, and the inaudible sound is detected using the
second input signal after being subtracted by the noise suppression unit. It is preferable to
detect.
[0023]
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Thereby, even if the sound transmitted through the air is mixed as noise into the sound detected
by the second microphone, the noise can be removed, so that the inaudible sound is detected
with higher accuracy. It is possible to
In addition, since it is possible to miniaturize a member such as a sound insulation wall provided
in the second microphone in order to suppress the mixing of noise, it is also possible to
miniaturize the hearing aid main body.
[0024]
In addition, the integrated circuit according to the present invention is an integrated circuit used
for a hearing aid worn by a wearer and performing hearing compensation for the wearer,
wherein the hearing aid comprises at least one microphone for converting sound into an input
signal And an output unit for outputting an output signal as a sound, the integrated circuit
includes a hearing aid signal processing unit for generating the output signal from the input
signal, and a sound emitted by the wearer which is inaudible from the outside. And a hearing aid
processing control unit that generates control information for controlling signal processing based
on the inaudible sound, the hearing aid processing control unit generating control information by
the hearing aid processing control unit, The output signal is generated according to the
generated control information.
[0025]
Further, the hearing aid processing method according to the present invention is a hearing aid
processing method that is worn by a wearer and used in a hearing aid that performs hearing
compensation for the wearer, wherein the hearing aid converts at least one sound into an input
signal. The hearing aid processing method includes a hearing aid signal processing step of
generating the output signal from the input signal, and a sound emitted by the wearer from the
outside, the microphone and the output unit outputting the output signal as sound. And a hearing
aid processing control step of generating control information for controlling signal processing
based on an inaudible sound which is an audible sound, wherein the hearing aid signal
processing step generates control information in the hearing aid processing control step. In this
case, the output signal is generated according to the generated control information.
[0026]
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The present invention can not only be realized as such a hearing aid processing method, but also
can be realized as a program that causes a computer to execute the steps included in the hearing
aid processing method.
It goes without saying that such a program can be distributed via a recording medium such as a
CD-ROM or a transmission medium such as the Internet.
[0027]
Since the hearing aid according to the present invention controls the hearing aid processing
based on inaudible sounds that are difficult for others around the user to hear, the user can
transmit his / her intention to the hearing aid without psychological resistance.
Furthermore, since the hearing aid according to the present invention controls the hearing aid
process by sound, it is not necessary for the user to take out the hearing aid remote control from
the pocket or confirm the position of the switch when transmitting the intention to the hearing
aid.
That is, the hearing aid according to the present invention can reduce the physical burden on the
user.
[0028]
It is an external view which shows an example of the hearing aid which concerns on Embodiment
1 of this invention.
It is a block diagram which shows the function structure of the hearing aid which concerns on
Embodiment 1 of this invention.
It is a flowchart which shows operation ¦ movement of the hearing aid which concerns on
Embodiment 1 of this invention.
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It is a block diagram which shows the function structure of the hearing aid which concerns on
Embodiment 2 of this invention.
It is a figure which shows an example of an intention information table.
It is a figure which shows an example of a control information table.
It is a flowchart which shows operation ¦ movement of the hearing aid which concerns on
Embodiment 2 of this invention.
It is a block diagram which shows the function structure of the conventional hearing aid.
[0029]
Embodiments of the present invention will be described below with reference to the drawings.
[0030]
First Embodiment First, a first embodiment of the present invention will be described below.
[0031]
The hearing aid 10 according to the present embodiment is characterized in that signal
processing is controlled based on inaudible sound, not to control hearing aid processing
according to an input signal from a switch provided in the main body or the hearing aid remote
control. .
The hearing aid 10 according to the present embodiment is also characterized in that inaudible
sound is detected using a second input signal that indicates the sound transmitted through the
user's body.
[0032]
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9
FIG. 1 is an external view showing an example of a hearing aid 10 according to Embodiment 1 of
the present invention.
As shown in FIG. 1, in the present embodiment, an example of an ear-hook type hearing aid 10
will be described. The hearing aid 10 is composed of an air conduction microphone 11, a contact
microphone 12, a receiver 16, and a housing 19.
[0033]
The air-conduction microphone 11 converts sound into an electrical signal by detecting vibration
transmitted through the air. Although the hearing aid 10 includes two air conduction
microphones 11 in FIG. 1, the hearing aid according to the present invention may include one or
more air conduction microphones.
[0034]
The contact-type microphone 12 converts sound into an electrical signal by detecting vibration
transmitted through the user's body or body surface. Therefore, the user needs to wear the
hearing aid 10 so that the skin of the user and the contact microphone 12 come into close
contact without any gap. Therefore, it is desirable that an adhesive material be used for the
contact surface between the contact microphone 12 and the skin of the user or the contact
surface between the housing 19 and the skin of the user. According to this configuration, the
hearing aid 10 is not only fixed by being hooked to the ear as in the conventional case, but also
fixed by the adhesion between the skin and the adhesive material. That is, the user can wear the
hearing aid 10 at a more free position than in the past.
[0035]
The hearing aid according to the present invention does not necessarily have to use a material
having an adhesive property on the contact surface. For example, if a layer of air is not generated
between the skin and the contact microphone 12 when the user wears the hearing aid, the
hearing aid may be fixed to the user using a small dedicated instrument or the like.
01-05-2019
10
[0036]
FIG. 2 is a block diagram showing a functional configuration of the hearing aid 10 according to
Embodiment 1 of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 2, the hearing aid 10 includes an air
conduction microphone 11, a contact microphone 12, a hearing aid processing control unit 14, a
hearing aid signal processing unit 15, and a receiver 16.
[0037]
The air conduction microphone 11 is an example of a first microphone, and converts sound
transmitted through air into a first input signal.
[0038]
The contact-type microphone 12 is an example of a second microphone, and converts sound
transmitted through the user's body into a second input signal.
The contact microphone 12 is, for example, a bone conduction microphone that detects a
vibration of a bone of a user, or a meat conduction microphone that detects a vibration of a skin
of the user.
[0039]
The hearing aid processing control unit 14 detects an inaudible sound that is a sound emitted by
the user and is an inaudible sound from the outside using the second input signal, and controls
signal processing based on the detected inaudible sound. Generate control information for Here,
the outside means a person other than the user who is around the user. Therefore, an inaudible
sound is a small sound emitted by the user, which is difficult for a person around the user to
hear. Specifically, the inaudible sound may be, for example, a tweet voice that the user
consciously or unknowingly emits, a sound consciously emitted by the user in the oral cavity (a
sound to make the teeth click, a tongue strike, etc.), or a user's head hair Or it is a friction sound
between the skin and the hearing aid.
01-05-2019
11
[0040]
Specifically, the hearing aid processing control unit 14 determines whether the second input
signal includes language information, for example, by performing cepstrum analysis or the like
on the second input signal. Here, if the hearing aid processing control unit 14 determines that
the language information is included, the hearing aid processing control unit 14 recognizes the
language spoken by the user, and generates control information according to the recognized
language. On the other hand, when it is determined that the language information is not included,
the hearing aid processing control unit 14 detects and detects an inaudible sound such as a
sound causing a tooth to be ticked by analyzing a spectrum of a specific frequency band.
Generate control information according to the sound. Either of the process of determining the
presence or absence of the language information and the process of detecting a characteristic
sound such as a sound of tying or putting a tooth on may be performed first, or may be
performed in parallel. Further, according to the program mode of the hearing aid processing, the
configuration may be such that the order of the processing or which one of the processing is to
be performed is determined.
[0041]
The hearing aid signal processing unit 15 generates an output signal from the first input signal.
When the control information is generated by the hearing aid processing control unit 14, the
hearing aid signal processing unit 15 generates an output signal from the first input signal
according to the generated control information. Specifically, the hearing aid signal processing
unit 15 performs signal processing realized by the directivity function or noise suppression
function on the first input signal, and outputs the sound at a predetermined sound pressure level.
Amplify the input signal. Here, the directivity function is to increase the sensitivity of sound
transmitted from a specific direction by utilizing the fact that the time difference occurring in the
first input signal output from each of the plurality of air conduction microphones 11 differs
depending on the direction of sound transmission. It is a function. The noise suppression
function is a function of cutting a signal of a specific pattern contained in the first input signal as
noise to improve the SN ratio of the output signal.
[0042]
The receiver 16 is an example of an output unit, and outputs an output signal as a sound.
01-05-2019
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Specifically, the receiver 16 is, for example, an earphone, and outputs a sound to the user's ear.
Also, for example, the receiver 16 may be a bone conduction speaker that outputs sound to the
user by vibrating the user's body.
[0043]
Next, various operations of the hearing aid 10 according to the present embodiment configured
as described above will be described.
[0044]
FIG. 3 is a flowchart showing the operation of the hearing aid 10 according to the first
embodiment of the present invention.
First, the air-conduction microphone 11 is configured to transmit sounds transmitted through the
air including voices emitted by persons other than the user or environmental sounds (quiet
indoor sound, outdoor noise, etc.) that are sounds around the user, etc. It converts into an input
signal (step S101).
[0045]
Further, the contact microphone 12 converts a sound transmitted through the user's body or
body surface, including inaudible sound, etc., into a second input signal (step S102). This nonaudible sound is a sound that is so small that it is difficult for a person other than the user to
hear it, and therefore it is a sound that is very difficult to detect by the air conduction
microphone 11. Moreover, in the contact type microphone 12, since the microphone unit which
detects a sound is covered with the external sound insulation wall, the noise from the outside is
interrupted ¦ blocked. Therefore, only the sound detected by the contact microphone 12 includes
inaudible sounds.
[0046]
Next, the hearing aid processing control unit 14 generates control information for controlling the
hearing aid processing performed by the hearing aid signal processing unit 15 based on the
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inaudible sound. Then, the hearing aid processing control unit 14 transmits the generated control
information to the hearing aid signal processing unit 15 (step S103).
[0047]
Specifically, the hearing aid processing control unit 14 detects an inaudible sound using the
second input signal generated by the contact type microphone 12 and generates control
information based on the detected inaudible sound. For example, when the hearing aid process
control unit 14 detects the voice when the user utters the program mode name as the inaudible
sound, the control information instructs to change to the program mode indicated by the
language included in the detected inaudible sound. Generate In addition, for example, when the
user detects a sound in which the teeth are aligned twice with a click as a non-audible sound, the
hearing aid processing control unit 14 generates control information that instructs interruption
of generation of an output signal.
[0048]
Also, for example, when the hearing aid processing control unit 14 frequently detects frictional
noise between hair or skin and the hearing aid 10, the hearing aid processing control unit 14
transmits control information for disabling the directivity function to the hearing aid signal
processing unit 15. Thus, when the frictional noise between the hair or skin and the hearing aid
10 is frequently detected, it means that the head of the user is moving frequently. That is, there is
a high possibility that the user is moving the head frequently unknowingly to search for
surrounding sounds. In such a case, the hearing aid process control unit 14 generates control
information to invalidate the directional function, thereby providing hearing that matches
the user's situation and the user's mind.
[0049]
Next, the hearing aid signal processing unit 15 generates an output signal from the first input
signal input from the air conduction microphone 11 in accordance with the control information
received from the hearing aid processing control unit 14. Then, the hearing aid signal processing
unit 15 outputs the generated output signal to the receiver 16 (step S104). For example, when
the hearing aid signal processing unit 15 receives control information indicating an instruction to
decrease the volume, the amplification factor at the time of amplifying the input signal is set so
01-05-2019
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that the sound pressure level of the sound output from the receiver 16 decreases by a
predetermined value. Make it smaller.
[0050]
Finally, the receiver 16 outputs the output signal as a sound (step S105). As described above,
since the hearing aid 10 according to the present embodiment can control the hearing aid
processing based on inaudible sounds that are difficult for others around the user to hear, the
user has no psychological resistance. It can transmit its own intention to the hearing aid.
Furthermore, since the hearing aid 10 controls the hearing aid process by sound, it is not
necessary for the user to take out the hearing aid remote control from the pocket or to confirm
the position of the switch when transmitting the intention to the hearing aid. Environmental
burdens.
[0051]
In addition, the hearing aid 10 can detect inaudible sound from the sound transmitted through
the body of the wearer by providing the contact type microphone 12, so that the inaudible sound
is detected regardless of the magnitude of ambient noise. It is possible to
[0052]
By the way, the inaudible sound includes a tweet voice which is a voice unconsciously emitted by
human beings and is a voice emitted mainly when the user does not want to be heard by others.
The user's emotion is often strongly reflected in the tweet voice that often occurs in the case
where the voice is unintentionally issued although the purpose is not to send to others.
Therefore, the hearing aid 10 controls the hearing aid processing to listen to the user's emotions
or intentions by controlling the hearing aid processing using an inaudible sound that contains
many sounds that the user unintentionally emits in addition to the sound intentionally emitted by
the user. It can be reflected. That is, since the hearing aid 10 can detect the user's emotion or
intention by detecting the inaudible sound, it can realize the "hearing" desired by the user.
[0053]
Second Embodiment Next, a second embodiment of the present invention will be described
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below.
[0054]
FIG. 4 is a block diagram showing a functional configuration of the hearing aid 20 according to
the second embodiment of the present invention.
In FIG. 4, the same components as those of the hearing aid 10 according to the first embodiment
shown in FIG.
[0055]
As shown in FIG. 4, the hearing aid processing control unit 21 includes a correlation calculation
unit 22, a noise suppression unit 23, an intention recognition unit 24, an intention information
storage unit 25, an environment recognition unit 26, and a speech recognition unit 27. And a
control information generation unit 28 and a control information storage unit 29.
[0056]
The correlation calculation unit 22 calculates a correlation value between the first input signal
output from the air conduction microphone 11 and the second input signal output from the
contact microphone 12.
Specifically, the correlation calculation unit 22 determines for each time interval whether the
power of the first input signal exceeds the first threshold and whether the power of the second
input signal exceeds the second threshold. . Then, the correlation calculation unit 22 reduces the
value as the time interval determined that the power of the first input signal does not exceed the
first threshold and the power of the second input signal exceeds the second threshold increases.
Calculate the correlation value to
[0057]
The noise suppression unit 23 subtracts the first input signal from the second input signal. That
01-05-2019
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is, the noise suppression unit 23 subtracts the first input signal from the second input signal to
remove the component of the sound transmitted through the air mixed in the second input
signal. Since there is a difference between the transfer characteristics of the first input signal and
the second input signal input from different types of microphones, this subtraction is based on
the difference and an appropriate gain is applied to one or both of the signals. It is good to do it
over.
[0058]
When the correlation value calculated by the correlation calculation unit 22 is smaller than the
threshold value, the intention recognition unit 24 detects an inaudible sound using the second
input signal. Then, the intention recognition unit 24 estimates the wearer's intention from the
feature indicated by the detected inaudible sound. Specifically, for example, the intention
recognition unit 24 performs cepstrum analysis or the like on the second input signal to
determine whether the second input signal includes language information. Here, when the
intention recognition unit 24 determines that the language information is included, the intention
recognition unit 24 recognizes the language issued by the user, and detects the recognized
language as an inaudible sound. On the other hand, when it is determined that the language
information is not included, the intention recognition unit 24 analyzes the spectrum of the
specific frequency band to detect a sound that causes the teeth to be checked as an inaudible
sound. Then, the intention recognition unit 24 acquires the intention information corresponding
to the detected inaudible sound feature (language, type of sound, etc.) by referring to the
intention information table 25a stored in the intention information storage unit 25. .
[0059]
The intention information storage unit 25 stores the correspondence between inaudible sound
information indicating the feature of the inaudible sound and the intention information indicating
the intention of the user. Specifically, the intention information storage unit 25 stores, for
example, an intention information table 25a. The details of the intention information table 25a
will be described later with reference to FIG.
[0060]
The environment recognition unit 26 determines the magnitude of noise in the first input signal.
01-05-2019
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Specifically, the environment recognition unit 26 calculates the total power obtained by adding
the power spectrum of the first input signal for all bands. Then, the environment recognition unit
26 determines the magnitude of the noise by determining whether the calculated total power
exceeds a threshold. The environment recognition unit 26 may calculate the total power after
removing the noise component included in the first input signal using the smoothing filter. In
addition, the environment recognition unit 26 may determine the magnitude of the noise at a
plurality of levels such as large , medium and small using a plurality of threshold
values.
[0061]
The speech recognition unit 27 determines the presence or absence of the language information
in the first input signal. Specifically, the voice recognition unit 27 performs, for example,
cepstrum analysis on the first input signal to determine whether the sound detected by the air
conduction microphone 11 includes human conversation or not. Do.
[0062]
The control information generation unit 28 performs control according to the user's intention
estimated by the intention recognition unit 24, the magnitude of the noise determined by the
environment recognition unit 26, and the presence or absence of the language information
determined by the speech recognition unit 27. Generate information. Specifically, the control
information generation unit 28 refers to the control information table 29 a stored in the control
information storage unit 29 and determines the user's intention estimated by the intention
recognition unit 24 and the environment recognition unit 26. Control information corresponding
to the magnitude of the noise and the presence or absence of the language information
determined by the speech recognition unit 27 is acquired.
[0063]
The control information storage unit 29 stores correspondences between control information
and intention information indicating the user's intention, noise information indicating the
magnitude of noise, voice information indicating the presence or absence of language
information, and control information. Specifically, the control information storage unit 29 stores,
for example, a control information table 29a. The details of the control information table 29a will
01-05-2019
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be described later using FIG.
[0064]
FIG. 5 is a diagram showing an example of the intention information table 25a. As shown in FIG.
5, non-audible sound information and intention information are stored in the intention
information table 25a.
[0065]
The inaudible sound information is information indicating the characteristics of the inaudible
sound. The intention information is information indicating the user's intention. The intention
information table 25a shown in FIG. 5 indicates that the user's intention is "the noise is too loud",
for example, when the inaudible sound is in the language of "too noisy" or "small". In addition, the
intention information table 25a indicates that the user's intention is "I want to disable all the
functions" when the non-audible sound is a tooth-tick sound.
[0066]
FIG. 6 is a diagram showing an example of the control information table 29a. As shown in FIG. 6,
the control information table 29a stores intention information, noise information, voice
information and control information.
[0067]
The intention information is the same as the intention information shown in FIG. 5 and is
information indicating the user's intention. The noise information is information indicating the
magnitude of surrounding noise. The voice information is information indicating the presence or
absence of language information. Control information is information for controlling a hearing aid
process. In the control information table 29a shown in FIG. 6, for example, the user's intention is
"I can not hear a conversation", the size of the surrounding noise is "large", and the surrounding
sound is "present" , Indicates that the information for controlling the hearing aid processing is
"maximization of the noise suppression function".
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[0068]
The various operations of the hearing aid 20 according to the present embodiment configured as
described above will be described. FIG. 7 is a flowchart showing the operation of the hearing aid
20 according to the second embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 7, the same processing
as that of FIG.
[0069]
After the process of step S102, the correlation calculation unit 22 calculates a correlation value
between the first input signal output from the air conduction microphone 11 and the second
input signal output from the contact microphone 12 (step S201). .
[0070]
Specifically, the correlation calculating unit 22 calculates the total power of the first input signal
for each time interval, and determines whether each calculated total power exceeds the first
threshold.
Furthermore, the correlation calculating unit 22 calculates the total power of the second input
signal for each time interval, and determines whether each calculated total power exceeds the
second threshold. Here, when the total power of the first input signal does not exceed the first
threshold and the total power of the second input signal exceeds the second threshold, the
correlation calculation unit 22 sets 0 to the individual correlation value of the time interval.
In the other cases, the individual correlation value of the time section is calculated as 1 . The
correlation calculating unit 22 calculates a value obtained by dividing the value obtained by
adding the individual correlation values calculated in this manner by the number of time
intervals as a correlation value.
[0071]
Next, the noise suppression unit 23 subtracts the first input signal from the second input signal
(step S202). Subsequently, the intention recognition unit 24 determines whether the correlation
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value is smaller than a predetermined threshold (step S203). Here, when it is determined that the
correlation value is equal to or more than the threshold (No in step S203), the process of step
S104 is performed.
[0072]
On the other hand, when it is determined that the correlation value is smaller than the threshold
(Yes in step S203), the intention recognition unit 24 estimates the user's intention using the
second input signal after the subtraction in step S202 (step S204). ). Specifically, the intention
recognition unit 24 recognizes, for example, the language indicated by the tweet, which is an
inaudible sound, by detecting the language information included in the sound detected by the
contact-type microphone 12. Then, the intention recognition unit 24 acquires the intention
information corresponding to the recognized language by referring to the intention information
table 25a. For example, when the recognized language is "I can not hear", the intention
recognition unit 24 estimates "I can not hear a conversation" as the user's intention by referring
to the intention information table shown in FIG.
[0073]
Next, the environment recognition unit 26 determines the magnitude of noise in the first input
signal (step S205). Specifically, the environment recognition unit 26 determines the magnitude of
the noise by determining whether the total power of the first input signal exceeds a
predetermined threshold. For example, when the environment recognition unit 26 determines
that the total power of the first input signal exceeds a predetermined threshold, the environment
recognition unit 26 determines that the noise is "high".
[0074]
Subsequently, the speech recognition unit 27 determines the presence or absence of the
language information in the first input signal (step S206). Specifically, the speech recognition
unit 27 performs cepstrum analysis on the first input signal to determine whether the first input
signal includes language information.
[0075]
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21
Next, the control information generation unit 28 generates control information corresponding to
the user's intention, the magnitude of noise, and the presence or absence of the language
information by referring to the control information table 29a (step S207). For example, when the
user's intention is "can't hear a conversation", the magnitude of the noise is "large", and the
linguistic information is "presence", the control information generation unit 28 performs the
control shown in FIG. By referring to the information table 29a, "maximization of the noise
suppression function" is generated as control information.
[0076]
As described above, the hearing aid 20 according to the present embodiment detects the
inaudible sound using both the sound detected by the air conduction microphone 11 and the
sound detected by the contact microphone 12. The air conduction microphone 11 detects a
normal voice and a small voice, which are voices of a normal size emitted by the user, in addition
to voices emitted by persons other than the user or ambient sounds around the user, etc.
Inaudible sounds can not be detected because of their low power. On the other hand, the contacttype microphone 12 detects all voices emitted by the user from normal voice to inaudible sound,
which travel as body vibration through the body surface. Therefore, when the correlation value
between the first input signal and the second input signal is large, there is a high possibility that
the user is emitting a non-inaudible sound such as a normal sound. On the other hand, when the
correlation value is small, there is a high possibility that the user is emitting an inaudible sound
detected only by the contact type microphone 12. Therefore, the hearing aid 20 performs control
of the hearing aid processing only on the basis of the inaudible sound emitted by the user by
analyzing the second input signal output from the contact type microphone 12 only when the
correlation value is small. it can. That is, since the hearing aid 20 according to the present
embodiment detects the inaudible sound only when the correlation value between the first input
signal and the second input signal is small, it detects the sound heard by others as the inaudible
sound. It is possible to reduce the possibility.
[0077]
Further, the hearing aid 20 can remove noise mixed in the second input signal by subtracting the
first input signal from the second input signal. Generally, in the contact microphone 12, the
vibration sensor is often covered with an external sound insulation wall to prevent sound
transmitted through air from being mixed as noise. However, since the hearing aid is a very small
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device, it is desirable that the external sound barrier be small in order to realize the
miniaturization of the microphone. However, if the external sound barrier is small, the possibility
of noise mixing increases. Here, when the hearing aid includes the noise suppression unit 23, the
noise suppression unit 23 can remove the noise component included in the second input signal
by subtracting the first input signal from the second input signal. Therefore, when the hearing
aid includes the noise suppression unit 23, the external sound insulation wall of the contact
microphone 12 can be made smaller. That is, since the hearing aid 20 according to the present
embodiment can miniaturize the contact type microphone by including the noise suppression
unit 23, the miniaturization of the hearing aid main body can be realized.
[0078]
Although the hearing aid according to the present invention has been described above based on
the embodiments, the present invention is not limited to these embodiments. Without departing
from the spirit of the present invention, various modifications as may occur to those skilled in the
art may be made to the present embodiment, or a form constructed by combining components in
different embodiments is also included in the scope of the present invention. .
[0079]
For example, in the second embodiment, although the noise suppression unit 23 merely performs
subtraction processing of the first input signal and the second input signal, transmission to the
first input signal or the second input signal is performed. After performing signal processing
such as function correction, subtraction processing may be performed.
[0080]
Further, in the second embodiment, the correlation calculation unit 22 calculates the correlation
value using the total power of the first input signal and the second input signal, but the
correlation value is calculated using the power of a specific frequency band. It may be calculated.
Furthermore, the correlation calculation unit 22 may calculate the correlation value using the
power for each frequency band. The correlation calculation unit 22 may calculate the correlation
value after performing signal processing such as transfer function correction on the first input
signal or the second input signal. Further, the correlation calculation unit 22 may use an adaptive
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filter to determine the degree of convergence or divergence of the adaptive filter coefficient or
the error signal based on a threshold or the like, or calculate a statistically used correlation
coefficient. The correlation coefficient may be determined as a threshold.
[0081]
Further, in the second embodiment, the intention recognition unit 24 estimates the user's
intention when the correlation value is smaller than a predetermined threshold value, but the
threshold value is determined according to the feature indicated by the first input signal or the
second input signal. May be varied. For example, the intention recognition unit 24 may detect the
magnitude of noise from the first input signal, and determine the threshold so that the threshold
increases as the magnitude of the detected noise increases. As a result, an utterance distortion
called a Lombard effect occurs, and it becomes possible to accurately detect an inaudible sound
even under high noise where the user's utterance volume increases unconsciously.
[0082]
In the above embodiment, the hearing aid controls the hearing aid processing based on the
inaudible sound, but a hearing aid remote control used conventionally may be used in
combination. When controlling the hearing aid by using both the inaudible sound and the control
signal output from the hearing aid remote control, the hearing aid processing control unit and
the hearing aid remote control each have a function for switching between the inaudible sound
mode and the remote control mode. It is preferable to have. Here, the inaudible sound mode is a
mode in which the hearing aid process is controlled based on the inaudible sound. On the other
hand, the remote control mode is a mode in which the hearing aid processing is controlled based
on a control signal output from the hearing aid remote control. For example, in the case of the
inaudible sound mode, the hearing aid processing control unit detects the inaudible sound when
the user mutters with "switch" and inaudible voice regardless of the surrounding environment
such as loud or small noise. And switch to remote control mode. Conversely, in the remote
control mode, when the user presses the "operation switching switch" provided on the hearing
aid remote control, the hearing aid processing control unit switches to the inaudible sound mode
according to the control signal output from the hearing aid remote control . In the inaudible
sound mode, the hearing aid processing control unit does not receive the control signal output
from the hearing aid remote control. On the other hand, in the remote control mode, the hearing
aid processing control unit does not detect an inaudible sound.
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[0083]
In addition, some of the components constituting the above-mentioned hearing aid may be
constituted by one system LSI (Large Scale Integration: large scale integrated circuit). The system
LSI is a super multifunctional LSI manufactured by integrating a plurality of component parts on
one chip, and specifically, a microprocessor, a read only memory (ROM), a random access
memory (RAM), etc. A computer system configured to include For example, as shown in FIG. 2,
the hearing aid processing control unit 14 and the hearing aid signal processing unit 15 may be
configured from one system LSI 30. Further, for example, as shown in FIG. 4, the hearing aid
processing control unit 21 and the hearing aid signal processing unit 15 may be configured by
one system LSI 31.
[0084]
The present invention is a hearing aid that can control hearing aid processing according to the
user's intention, and in particular, it is an environment adaptive type that can provide better
"hear" to the user by changing the hearing aid processing according to the environment Useful
for hearing aids.
[0085]
10, 20, 100 Hearing aid 11, 111 Air conduction microphone 12 Contact microphone 14, 21, 114
Hearing processing control unit 15, 115 Hearing signal processing unit 16, 116 Receiver 19
Case 22 Correlation calculation unit 23 Noise suppression unit 24 Intention recognition Unit 25
Intention information storage unit 25a Intention information table 26 Environment recognition
unit 27 Voice recognition unit 28 Control information generation unit 29 Control information
storage unit 29a Control information table 30, 31 System LSI 200 Hearing aid remote control
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