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JP2018528735

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DESCRIPTION JP2018528735
The techniques presented in this application personalize the enjoyment of sound to the user by
personalizing the audio signal to perceive the audio signal as if the user had ideal hearing and /
or desired hearing. Increase. In one embodiment, the headphones on the user's head include a
sensor and a speaker. The sensor records the user's response to the audio signal while the
speaker plays the audio signal to the user. The sensor may be a microphone, an
electroencephalogram sensor, an EEG sensor or the like. The user response may be an audio
response in the user's ear, an electroencephalographic response associated with the user, an
electrical skin response associated with the user, etc. Based on the measured responses and
knowledge of how other people perceive the sound, the audio signal is modified to compensate
for the difference between the user's hearing and the ideal and / or desired hearing. And it
enhances the enjoyment of sound for the user. [Selected figure] Figure 1
Personalization of auditory stimuli
[0001]
This application claims priority to U.S. Patent Application No. 15 / 154,694, filed May 13, 2016,
which application claims the following Australian Provisional Patents: Claim priority to
application: Australian Provisional Patent Application No. 2015903530 filed on August 31,
2015, Australian Provisional Patent Application No. 2016900105 filed on January 14, 2016,
2016 1 Australian Provisional Patent Application No. 2016900106 filed on May 14, Australian
Provisional Patent Application No. 2016900107 filed on January 14, 2016. All of these are
incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.
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1
[0002]
TECHNICAL FIELD The present invention relates generally to providing auditory stimulation with
one or more loudspeakers, such as consumer headphones or earphones, and in particular to
adjust specific characteristics in the user's hearing. It relates to personalizing auditory stimuli
generated by a loudspeaker.
[0003]
Audio headphones are generally designed to convert electronic input signals into acoustic waves
over a frequency range, in the hope that all users will sound the same.
Standard audio headphones can not take into account the differences between conductive and
perceptual hearing between users. Many people will experience hearing loss, especially with
aging, and even people with "normal hearing" have varying sensitivities to sounds of different
frequencies. The clinical definition for "normal" hearing is broad (i.e., the threshold is between 10 and +25 dB across frequency).
[0004]
In order to select the best headphones for an individual user, the user currently tries a number of
headphones and restricts them to choose the one that "best fits" with the user's hearing. is
recieving. The user will try various on-ear, over-ear or in-ear headphones or earphones to make a
subjective assessment of the best sound reproduction available to them.
[0005]
While some headphones may have their audio equalization manually adjustable, either by control
actions available on the headphones themselves, or via a wired or wireless connection to a
smartphone app etc, such equalization may Again, it is based on manual adjustment by the user
and not on the audiometric information.
[0006]
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A method of personalizing auditory stimuli generated by one or more loudspeakers configured to
be held in place near or in the user's ear, subjective and / or objective It is desirable to provide a
way to automatically adapt the auditory stimulus to be well suited to the user's auditory profile,
using such audiometric information.
It is also desirable to provide a method of personalizing auditory stimuli generated by one or
more loudspeakers that ameliorates or overcomes one or more shortcomings of known sound
reproduction techniques.
[0007]
A device herein that enhances the enjoyment of sound for the user by personalizing the audio
signal so as to perceive the audio signal as if the user had ideal hearing and / or desired hearing.
A method is presented. In one embodiment, the headphones on the user's head include a sensor
and a speaker. The sensor records the user's response to the audio signal while the speaker plays
the audio signal to the user. The sensor may be a microphone, an electroencephalogram sensor,
an EEG sensor or the like. The user response may be an audio response in the user's ear, an
electroencephalographic response associated with the user, an electrical skin response associated
with the user, etc. Based on the measured response and knowledge of how people perceive the
sound, the audio signal is modified to compensate for the difference between the user's hearing
and the ideal and / or desired hearing. This enhances the enjoyment of sound for the user.
[0008]
These and other objects, features and characteristics of the present embodiments will become
more apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description considered in
conjunction with the appended claims and drawings. Although the attached drawings include
illustrations of various embodiments, the drawings are not intended to limit the subject matter in
the claims.
[0009]
FIG. 1 shows a set of headphones including a dry electrode or capacitive sensor, a speaker, and a
signal processing module according to one embodiment. FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram
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illustrating the electrical components of a signal processing module installed in each housing of
the headphones, according to one embodiment. FIG. 3 shows an alternative arrangement to that
shown in FIG. 1 according to one embodiment. FIG. 4A is a schematic diagram of the electrical
components of the digital signal processing module of the earphone arrangement shown in FIG. 3
according to one embodiment. FIG. 4B shows a schematic view of a probe for measuring
distorted component otoacoustic emissions (DP-OAE), according to one embodiment. FIG. 4C
shows the frequency response of each speaker of FIG. 4B, according to one embodiment. FIG. 4D
is a flowchart of a digital signal processing algorithm for measuring an auditory transfer function
and / or an auditory profile associated with a user using the probe of FIG. 4B according to one
embodiment. FIG. 5 is a flow chart illustrating a signal processing operation performed by the
signal processing module shown in FIGS. 2 and 4 according to one embodiment. FIG. 6 shows the
frequency response in the time domain of a typical normal ear as compared to an ear with mild
deafness. FIG. 7 shows the RMS amplitude of auditory evoked potential responses in the
frequency domain of normal ears and ears with mild deafness. FIG. 8A illustrates a Fourier
analysis of the low-pass filtered and output sound signal and EEG (frequency after response)
according to one embodiment. FIG. 8B is a flowchart of a technique for determining the low
frequency portion of the auditory transfer function, according to one embodiment. FIG. 9A
illustrates information about high frequency hearing obtained by analyzing an EEG signal after
acoustic transients, according to one embodiment. FIG. 9B is a flow chart of a technique for
determining the high frequency portion of the auditory transfer function, according to one
embodiment. FIG. 10 illustrates an example of a strain component OAE microstructure according
to one embodiment. FIG. 11 shows an embodiment of the invention where the OAE probe also
functions as a set of headphones for consumer audio applications.
[0010]
Terms A brief definition of terms, abbreviations and phrases used throughout the application is
given below.
[0011]
"Ideal hearing" is the average level of perception over the audio frequency spectrum of a young,
ontology-normal ear when constant amplitude is provided as audio stimulation over the audio
frequency spectrum.
[0012]
"Desired hearing" is the desired level of perception over the audio frequency spectrum when
constant amplitude is provided as audio stimulation over the audio frequency spectrum.
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The desired hearing profile can be set arbitrarily, and may or may not be set as an ideal hearing
profile.
[0013]
"Normal hearing" is the area near the ideal hearing.
Many people are considered to have "normal hearing". This means that the hearing sensitivity of
such people is in the range of 15-20 dB, which is the ideal hearing over the whole frequency.
[0014]
The "hearing transfer function" correlates a given input frequency and the corresponding input
amplitude associated with the input audio signal with the perceived amplitude of the given input
frequency.
[0015]
"Hearing profile" comprises a set of measurements of a person's hearing that can estimate the
person's auditory transfer function.
[0016]
An "audio channel" is separate audio signals coming from one source or from different sources.
Multiple audio channels can be combined and played through the same speaker, or can be played
from separate speakers.
[0017]
Statistics representing data on human auditory profiles
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or
statistics
is a collection of
statistics on auditory profiles of many people.
The statistical information may be an average of human auditory profiles at one or more
frequencies, a standard deviation of human auditory profiles at one or more frequencies, an
auditory profile or auditory transfer function of an individual listener, and objective auditory data
or subjective Include one or more of the correlations between types of objective auditory data.
[0018]
References herein to one embodiment or an embodiment are intended to mean that the
particular features, structures or characteristics described in connection with that embodiment
are included in at least one embodiment of the present disclosure Means The appearances of the
phrase "in one embodiment" in various places in the specification are not necessarily all referring
to the same embodiment, but are all mutually exclusive and / or mutually exclusive with other
embodiments. Nor is it referring to alternative embodiments. Moreover, the various features
described may be shown by some embodiments, but not by others. Similarly, the various features
described may be requirements of some embodiments but not of other embodiments.
[0019]
Throughout the specification and claims, the word "comprise", "including" or the like has the
inclusive meaning, and not the exclusive or exhaustive meaning, unless the context clearly
requires otherwise. In other words, it shall be interpreted in the meaning of "including but not
limited to". As used herein, the terms "connected", "coupled" or any variation thereof means any
direct or indirect connection or coupling between two or more elements. The coupling or
connection between elements may be physical, logical or a combination thereof. For example,
two devices may be directly coupled, or coupled via one or more intermediate channels or
devices. As another example, multiple devices may be coupled to be able to pass information
between devices without sharing physical connections with one another. Further, as used herein,
the words "herein," "above," "below," and words of similar meaning are intended to refer to the
entire application and to certain portions of the application. Do not do. As the context allows,
words using more than one digit in the description may include more than one or more than one.
The word "or" in connection with the enumeration of two or more items covers all of the
following interpretations of the word: any of the items in the list, all of the items in the list and
any of the items in the list combination.
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[0020]
As used herein, can include,
can include,
can include, or can include a
component or feature, or a component or feature may When it is described that "may," "can,"
"can," or "can have" that particular component or feature need not be included. Or, it is not
necessary to have the characteristics.
[0021]
The term "module" broadly refers to software running locally, software running in the cloud,
hardware or firmware components (or any combination thereof).
A module is typically a functional component capable of producing useful data or other output
using defined (one or more) inputs. The module may or may not be self-contained. An application
program (also referred to as an "application") may include one or more modules, and a module
may include one or more applications.
[0022]
The terms used in the detailed description, even when used in conjunction with specific
examples, are intended to be interpreted in the broadest reasonable manner of the terms. The
terms used herein generally have their ordinary meaning in the art within the context of the
present disclosure and in the specific context in which each term is used. For convenience,
particular terms or elements may be highlighted using, for example, capital letters, italics and /
or quotation marks. The use of highlighting does not affect the scope and meaning of the term. In
the same context, the scope and meaning of the term is the same, regardless of whether the term
is highlighted or not. It will be appreciated that the same element may be described in more than
one way.
[0023]
Thus, alternative phrases and synonyms may be used for any one or more of the terms discussed
herein, but have particular significance as to whether the terms are detailed or discussed herein.
Absent. The reference to one or more synonyms does not exclude the use of other synonyms. The
07-05-2019
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use of the examples (including the examples of any terms discussed herein) at any point herein is
merely exemplary and is intended to further limit the scope and meaning of the disclosure or
example terms. It is not something to do. Likewise, the present disclosure is not limited to the
various embodiments given herein.
[0024]
Headphones FIG. 1 shows a set of headphones including a dry electrode or capacitive sensor, a
speaker, and an electronic module including a signal processing module according to one
embodiment. The set of headphones 10 includes speakers 12 and 14. Speakers 12 and 14 are
placed in cups 16 and 18 to position speakers 12 and 14 near the user's ears. The two cups 16
and 18 are coupled to the adjustable head support member 20. Located behind the cups 16 and
18 are housings 22 and 24 which house the electrical / electronic modules and the interface
unit. The functions of the electrical / electronic module and the interface unit will be described
later. In addition, the headphone 10 includes dry electrodes or capacitive sensors 26, 28 and 30
arranged to be in contact with the user's head, thereby being presented to one or both of the
user's ears through the speakers 12 and 14 The auditory evoked potentials generated by the
user in response to the auditory stimuli are measured. The headphone 10 may further include
external microphones 32 and 34.
[0025]
FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram illustrating the electrical components installed in each housing 22
and 24 of the headphone 10 according to one embodiment. The electronic module 40 includes a
signal processing module 42, wired or wireless connections 60 and 62 (such as an audio input
jack or a Bluetooth module), and external microphones 32, 34 for noise canceling. The signal
processing module 42 further includes analog to digital and / or digital to analog converters 48
to 54 for interfacing with external digital or analog devices, and in combination, a power supply
for powering the signal processing module 42. And 56. Interconnected to the signal processing
module 42 include an interface for the external microphones 32 and 34, a wired or wireless
connection 60 for receiving digital or audio analog signal input, and a wired connection for
digital data transfer Or wireless connection 62. These are signals, for example, to change the
stored settings held in the memory 46 of the signal processing module 42 to control the
operation of the processor 44 or to output hearing measurement data for display on a
smartphone. It is interconnected to the processing module 42. The wired connection may be a
phone jack and the wireless connection may be a Bluetooth module. In this exemplary
embodiment, external microphones 32 and 34 are used by signal processing module 42, thereby
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recording ambient noise for use in noise canceling operations. However, in other embodiments,
the signal processing module 42 may exclude the result if the ambient noise recorded by the
microphone is too high.
[0026]
Dry electrodes or capacitive sensors 26, 28 and 30 are interconnected via an analog to digital
converter 54. The speakers 12 and 14 are interconnected to the signal processing module 42 by
a digital to analog converter 52 and an amplifier. Optionally, an internal microphone 64 is
provided for calibration of the operation of the headphone 10.
[0027]
The signal processing module 42 is also adapted to receive the hearing measurement data 66 via
a wired or wireless connection 62. The hearing measurement data 66 characterizes the user's
audible threshold or equal loudness curve over the frequency range. In one or more
embodiments, the hearing measurement data 66 may be provided by an external source, for
example, the results of the audiogram test may be provided by the audiologist. Hearing
measurement data 66 may be input into signal processing module 42 via wired or wireless
connection 62.
[0028]
Optionally, user control, such as a button 68, such that the user can generate an input signal to
the processor 44 in response to the user having perceived auditory stimulation provided by the
loudspeakers 12 and 14. A container may be provided on the headset 10.
[0029]
FIG. 3 shows an alternative arrangement to that shown in FIG. 1 according to one embodiment.
The arrangement of earphones 70 adapted to be placed in the ear canal of one of the user's ears
comprises two speakers 84 and 86, an internal microphone 82 and an optional external
microphone. The earphone 70 is connected to an electronic module 72 similar to that installed in
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the housings 22 and 24 of the headset 10 shown in FIG.
[0030]
FIG. 4A is a schematic view of the electrical and electronic components of the arrangement of the
earphone 70 shown in FIG. 3 according to one embodiment. Electronic module 72 includes a
signal processing module 74, wired or wireless connections 76 and 78 (such as an audio input
jack or wireless module), and an optional external microphone 80 for noise canceling. An internal
microphone 82 for calibration and measurement of otoacoustic emissions (OAE), as well as the
loudspeakers 84 and 86 forming part of the earphone 70, is co-installed on the earphone 70. In
this arrangement, two speakers per ear are included to enable measurement of distorted
component otoacoustic emissions. Distorted component otoacoustic emissions (DP-OAE) are
generated in the cochlea in response to two tones of a given frequency and sound pressure level
being sent into the ear canal. DP-OAE is an objective indicator of cochlear outer hair cells that
function normally. Other types of otoacoustic emissions may require only one speaker per ear
canal.
[0031]
Processing unit 74 includes a processor 88 for performing the operations of the processing unit,
a memory 90 for storing programming instructions and data used by processor 88 during
program execution, and various electronic components within processing unit 74 And a power
supply 92 (such as a battery) for supplying power to the processing unit 74, enabling the
processing unit 74 to interface with various devices such as the external microphone 80, the
internal microphone 82 and the speakers 84 and 86. To analog-digital or digital-analog
converters 94, 96 and 98. In addition, the processing unit 74 is adapted to receive the hearing
measurement data 100 via an wired or wireless connection 78 from an external source, such as
the result of an audiogram examination provided by the audiologist.
[0032]
FIG. 4B shows a schematic view of a probe for measuring distorted component otoacoustic
emissions, according to one embodiment. The DP-OAE probe 1 includes two balanced armature
speakers, a woofer 2 and a tweeter 3, and a microphone 9. The microphone 9 is connected to the
preamplifier 4 and the analog-digital converter 5. The speakers 2 and 3 are connected to a dual
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channel headphone amplifier 6, and the dual channel headphone amplifier 6 is connected to a
dual channel digital-analog converter 7. The converters 5 and 7 are connected to a digital signal
processor 8 which performs equalization to control the stimulus loudness in the test mode, the
regeneration equalization (if desired) and the digital crossover for the two receivers. I will
provide a. Embodiments of the invention include one probe for each ear.
[0033]
FIG. 4C shows the frequency response of each of the speakers of FIG. 4B, according to one
embodiment. Both woofer 2 and tweeter 3 can generate stimuli with sufficient loudness of up to
80 dB sound pressure level (SPL) at about 250 Hz to 8000 Hz, over the frequency and loudness
range in a standard auditory examination. The use of both speakers 2 and 3 in playback mode
with crossover will result in excellent coverage over the frequency range. This data fits the
datasheets of the commercial Knowles HODVTEC-31618-000 and SWFK-31736-000 receivers.
[0034]
FIG. 4D is a flowchart of a digital signal processing algorithm for measuring an auditory transfer
function and / or an auditory profile associated with a user using the probe of FIG. 4B according
to one embodiment. At step 11, digital signal processor 8 (shown in FIG. 4B) receives an audio
input. The audio input may be a test audio signal and / or an audio reproduction signal including
audio content such as music, speech, ambient sounds, animal sounds and the like. Audio signals
may be input via an analog or digital wired or wireless audio interface 76 (shown in FIG. 4A) or
may be stored in memory 90 (FIG. 4A) and / or memory 46 (FIG. 2). At step 13, the processor 8
determines whether the mode is a test mode or a regeneration mode. At step 15, if the mode is a
test mode, the processor 8 applies to the audio input first and second filters corresponding
respectively to the woofer 2 (FIG. 4B) and the tweeter 3 (FIG. 4B). In one embodiment, the first
and second filters are non-operational filters or filters that provide a flat frequency response
from the speaker that causes speakers 2 and 3 to reproduce the calibrated test stimulus.
[0035]
At step 17, if the mode is a play mode, the processor 8 applies to the audio input third and fourth
filters respectively corresponding to the woofer 2 and the tweeter 3. In one embodiment, the
third and fourth filters each include a low pass filter and a high pass filter to generate a digital
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crossover. At step 19, processor 8 sends the audio signal to digital-to-analog converter 7 (of FIG.
4B). Those skilled in the art will recognize that there are many variations on how to apply
switchable crossovers, which can be done digitally or electronically.
[0036]
FIG. 5 is a flow chart illustrating a signal processing operation performed by the signal
processing module shown in FIGS. 2 and 4 according to one embodiment. At step 110, each
memory 46 and / or 90 stores a copy of the auditory transfer function for each ear of the user. In
step 112, each memory 46 and / or 90 further stores an estimate of the accuracy and
completeness of the auditory transfer function, and in step 114, each memory 46 and / or 90 is
applied to the hearing transfer function Stores the user's preference about the degree of
correction to be made. In another embodiment, memory 46 and / or 90 may be a remote
database that stores various necessary information.
[0037]
At step 116, the processors 8, 44 or 88 receive audio signals corresponding to the sound desired
to be reproduced by the speakers of either the headset 10 or the earphones 1, 70. Optionally, at
step 118, the input audio signal is received by the external microphones 32, 34 and / or 80, and
at step 120 to minimize the effects of ambient noise on the audio signal input at step 116. ,
Processors 8, 44 and / or 88 perform the noise canceling function.
[0038]
At step 122, the processor 8, 44 and / or 88 is applied to the stored auditory transfer function,
the stored estimate of accuracy and completeness of the auditory transfer function, and
optionally the auditory transfer function The user's preference for the degree of correction to be
used, thereby making frequency specific adjustments in amplitude and phase and automatically
compensating the user's auditory transfer function.
[0039]
In some situations, this correction need not attempt to completely correct the sound.
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For example, if the accuracy or completeness of the auditory transfer function is low, only partial
correction may be applied as described below or according to the user's preferences. Processors
8, 44 or 88 may also be configured to limit the sound output signal that may be perceived by the
user as being dangerously loud.
[0040]
At step 122, the processors 8, 44 and / or 88 modify the input audio signal to perceive the input
audio signal as if the user had ideal and / or desired hearing. Processors 8, 44 and / or 88 may
modify the amplitude, phase, latency, etc. of the input audio signal. Because the human ear's
response to varying amplitudes at a given frequency is not linear, the processors 8, 44 and / or
88 determine in several ways how to modify the input audio signal. obtain.
[0041]
In various embodiments described herein, the desired hearing may be set by the user. For
example, the user may define to amplify a particular frequency range, such as low frequency,
intermediate frequency or high frequency. In another example, a user may define to attenuate a
particular frequency range, such as low frequency, intermediate frequency or high frequency.
Amplification and attenuation may occur independently or simultaneously.
[0042]
According to one embodiment, at step 126, the processors 8, 44 and / or 88 receive a plurality of
hearing profiles associated with a plurality of people. Multiple hearing profiles may be received
via wired or wireless connections 62 (FIG. 2) and / or 78 (FIG. 4A) or may be stored in memory
46 (FIGS. 2 and / or 90 (FIG. 4A). An auditory profile in a plurality of auditory profiles includes
an auditory transfer function associated with a person and a perceived amplitude of the input
frequency as the input amplitude associated with the input frequency changes.
[0043]
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Processors 8, 44 and / or 88 discover one or more similar auditory profiles that closely match
the auditory transfer function associated with the user. Based on this similar auditory profile, the
processor 8, 44 and / or 88 may, as far as possible, where the input audio signal is perceived so
that the user perceives the input audio signal as having an ideal and / or desired hearing. Decide
what to change.
[0044]
For example, the auditory transfer function associated with a user is perceived that the input
audio signal containing 1000 Hz at 70 dB has 25 dB for the user while the input audio signal
containing 2000 Hz at 70 dB has 50 dB for the user It defines that it is perceived. Processors 8,
44 and / or 88 determine a set of similar auditory profiles from the plurality of auditory profiles.
Here, a similar auditory profile is associated with a person who perceives 1000 Hz approximately
25 dB (or 20 dB to 30 dB) weaker than 2000 Hz. These auditory profiles have information on the
corrected amplitude required for the 1000 Hz signal in order for the person to perceive that the
amplitude of the 1000 Hz input signal at 70 dB is the same as the amplitude of the 2000 Hz
input signal at 70 dB. including. According to one embodiment, the processors 8, 44 and / or 88
average the modified amplitudes associated with these similar auditory profiles, thereby
obtaining the corrected amplitudes associated with the user. Processors 8, 44 and / or 88 modify
the input signal accordingly at step 122.
[0045]
According to another embodiment, the auditory transfer function associated with the user
defines that an audio signal comprising 1000 Hz at 70 dB is perceived as having 45 dB for the
user. Processors 8, 44 and / or 88 determine a set of auditory profiles that a person perceives
1000 Hz to be about 25 dB weaker than the input amplitude. These auditory profiles contain
information on the corrected amplitude needed for the 1000 Hz signal in order for the person to
perceive that the 1000 Hz input signal at 70 dB is 70 dB. According to one embodiment,
processors 8, 44 and / or 88 average the modified amplitudes associated with these auditory
profiles, thereby obtaining the corrected amplitudes associated with the user. Processors 8, 44
and / or 88 modify the input signal accordingly.
[0046]
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In another embodiment, processors 8, 44 and / or 88 do not receive multiple auditory profiles
associated with multiple people. Instead, the processor measures the auditory profile associated
with the user by reproducing the input audio signal containing the varying amplitude at a single
frequency. The input audio signal may be a generated test audio signal and / or a content audio
signal including music, speech, environmental sounds, animal sounds and the like. For example,
the input audio signal may include a content audio signal in which the test audio signal is
embedded.
[0047]
In this case, for example, the auditory transfer function associated with the user may be
perceived by the user as having an input audio signal containing 60 Hz at 70 dB while the input
audio signal containing 1500 Hz at 70 dB is provided to the user It is defined that it is perceived
to have 50 dB. The auditory profile associated with the user defines that a relative increase in
loudness of 10 dB at 1500 Hz is necessary for the user to perceive 1000 Hz and 1500 Hz with
equal loudness. Thus, processors 8, 44 and / or 88 modify the input signal accordingly at step
122.
[0048]
According to one embodiment, at step 126, the processors 8, 44 and / or 88 receive statistical
information representative of data regarding human auditory profiles. The statistical information
may be received via wired or wireless connections 62 (FIG. 2) and / or 78 (FIG. 4A) or may be
stored in memory 46 (FIG. 2) and / or 90 (FIG. 4A). For example, statistical information
representing data regarding human auditory profiles may include the mean and standard
deviation of human auditory profiles at one or more frequencies. The statistical information may
also include correlations between multiple types of objective auditory data or subjective auditory
data.
[0049]
Based on the statistical information, processors 8, 44 and / or 88 determine one or more similar
auditory profiles that closely match the auditory transfer function associated with the user. For
example, based on the statistical information, the processor constructs a plurality of auditory
profiles that are similar to the auditory transfer function associated with the user. Based on this
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similar auditory profile, the processor 8, 44 and / or 88 may, as far as possible, where the input
audio signal is perceived so that the user perceives the input audio signal as having an ideal and
/ or desired hearing. Decide what to change.
[0050]
In various embodiments, processors 8, 44, and / or 88 continue to improve the auditory transfer
function associated with the user as the user continues to listen to audio.
[0051]
The modified audio signal from processor 8, 44 or 88 is output to loudspeakers 12 and 14 or 84
and 86 at step 124, thereby generating an auditory stimulus to one or both of the user's ears .
[0052]
The auditory transfer function stored in the memory 46 or 90 may be generated in a plurality of
ways, ie subjective measurements, acoustic emission (OAE), auditory evoked potentials (AEP) or
other such as middle ear reflexes. May be generated by objective testing of
[0053]
Subjective measurements Audiometric measurements performed by an audiologist or by a
computer program or the like may be provided from external sources to the signal processing
modules 42 and 74.
[0054]
Alternatively, the button 68 or other user control on the headphone 10 may be used by the user
to directly obtain auditory threshold data by the user pressing the button in response to a sound
signal.
For example, auditory stimuli may be reproduced by the user with increased or decreased
amplitude at different frequencies across the audio frequency range.
If the auditory stimulus is at or near the user's hearing threshold for each of the different
frequencies, the user presses the button on the headphone 10, thereby providing a user
07-05-2019
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generated input signal.
[0055]
A simple psychophysical test includes the pure tone audiometry test where the user interacts
with to determine the auditory hearing threshold.
Alternatively, the test may be performed at the same loudness but at different frequencies (i.e. an
"equal loudness curve" test).
[0056]
Otoacoustic Radiation (OAE) Otoacoustic radiation may be measured in the user's ear canal.
This otoacoustic emission is then used to develop a frequency dependent hearing transfer
function of the user's ear (s), one of thresholded at multiple frequencies or otoacoustic radiation
at multiple frequencies It may be used to determine the relative amplitude for sound levels above
the above threshold. Stimulation frequency OAE, sweep sound OAE, transient evoked OAE, DPOAE or pulsed DP-OAE may be used for this purpose.
[0057]
The measured amplitude, latency, hearing threshold and / or phase of the OAE develop a
frequency dependent hearing transfer function for each ear of the user, so that the response
range from normal hearing listeners and hearing impaired listeners It can be compared.
[0058]
Because DP-OAE is best measured in a sealed ear canal, where two separate speakers / receivers
are packed into each ear canal, the use of OAE is to be implemented in the earphone
implementation shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 Most suitable.
[0059]
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For OAE, one combination of stimulation frequency / loudness provides the response amplitude.
By measuring multiple frequencies in this manner, a plot of response amplitude versus frequency
is obtained.
This plot may be stored in the memory 46 or 90 of the signal processing module 42 or 74 or
may be stored in a remote database. Many OAE techniques rely on measuring one frequency per
stimulus. However, the sweep sound OAE measures all frequencies within the range of the sweep.
Nevertheless, the auditory transfer function is always the same regardless of the measurement
method used. That is, the auditory transfer function includes a plot of signal amplitude versus
frequency of the OAE induced in the user's ear upon application of the input audio signal. The
auditory transfer function may also include the input amplitude associated with the input
frequency.
[0060]
In this exemplary embodiment, to determine the auditory transfer function for the user's ear, the
processors 8, 44 and / or 88 have input sound signals including several frequencies, for example
500, 1000, 2000 and 4000 Hz. Capture the data points of These data points are typically the
same frequency used by the equalizers acting on the output audio signals to the loudspeakers 12
and 14, 84 and 86, 2 and 3. At any frequency, the processor reduces the level, for example 70
dB, 60 dB, 50 dB, 40 dB, etc., and measures the response to the input audio signal until there is
no measurable response. Processors 8, 44 and / or 88 record data points at that time. It will be
appreciated that in other embodiments, different methods such as curve fitting or profile
measurement at a single loudness level may be used to determine the auditory transfer function.
The input audio signal may include a test audio signal and / or a content audio signal including
music, speech, environmental sounds, animal sounds and the like. For example, the input audio
signal may include a content audio signal in which the test audio signal is embedded.
[0061]
In-situ calibration of the speaker to the user's ear canal may be performed by the processor 8, 44
and / or 88 prior to making OAE measurements. In this context, "in situ" refers to the
measurements taken when the speaker and microphone are positioned for use in the ear canal. If
07-05-2019
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the acoustic properties of the loudspeaker are known, the acoustic impedance of the ear can be
calculated from the data and used to derive a correction.
[0062]
In one or more embodiments, in-situ calibration reproduces a test audio signal (eg, a chirp signal)
or content signal, covers the frequency range of the speaker, records the frequency response
with a microphone, and flats at the desired loudness This can be done by adjusting the output by
changing the equalizer settings to create a stable frequency response.
[0063]
In another embodiment, the calibration constantly compares the expected outputs of the multiple
speakers in that frequency domain when the electrical input to the speakers is provided to the
microphone, and the equalizer gain until they match. By changing, it can be performed in real
time for any playback sound (e.g. music, or audio including any content).
In situ calibration takes into account differences in the outer parts of the different users' ears and
differences in the placement of the earphones. If audiometric data is not yet available, only in situ
calibration may be used to adjust the sound.
[0064]
Any variant with an internal microphone can use that microphone for in situ calibration of the
speaker, which is performed each time the user turns on the headphones.
[0065]
Auditory Evoked Potential (AEP) AEP involves the measurement of signals in the nanovolt range
from dry electrodes or capacitive sensors 26, 28 and 30 shown in FIG.
[0066]
In order to increase the signal-to-noise ratio of the AEP, it is generally necessary to repeat the
auditory stimulation multiple times.
[0067]
07-05-2019
19
Traditionally, AEP is measured using a wet electrode after gently rubbing the skin into
preparation.
This is not practical for use in consumer audio headphones.
In that case, dry electrodes and / or capacitive sensors are used.
From the point of view of reducing the signal to noise ratio, it is generally required to repeat the
stimulation multiple times, which generally takes a longer time to estimate the auditory transfer
function compared to when a wet electrode is used It means that the estimation accuracy is low.
[0068]
Any AEP can be measured, for example, auditory brainstem response, intermediate latency
response, acoustic change complex, auditory steady state response, complex auditory brainstem
response, electrocoelography, cochlear microphone, or cochlear nerve sound reaction AEP etc.
obtain.
[0069]
The frequency dependent auditory transfer function for each ear may be a frequency specific
stimulus such as a tone or band limited chirp signal or an audio content signal such as music or
speech used as an auditory stimulus applied to the user's ear To determine any of the frequencyspecific thresholds thereafter, or to determine the relative amplitude and / or latency time of the
AEP response using sound pressure levels above one or more thresholds As determined by the
processor 8, 44 and / or 88.
[0070]
Amplitude, latency, hearing threshold and / or phase comparisons can be made to the response
range from normal hearing listeners and hearing impaired listeners to develop the hearing
transfer function for each ear.
07-05-2019
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Normal auditory listeners and hearing impaired listeners response ranges may be maintained in
memory 46 or 90 for use by processors 8, 44 and / or 88 in such operations.
[0071]
The exact processing operations performed by processors 8, 44 and / or 88 to detect AEP
responses are different for each of the AEP methods described above, as the time progression of
the characteristic waveform for each AEP is different.
[0072]
In general, the methods applied by the processors 8, 44 and / or 88 use a peak picking algorithm
or window root mean square root of the response compared to the baseline RMS or the
frequency singular RMS of the signal above baseline noise ( RMS) includes the use of
measurements.
However, Valderrama, Joaquin T., et al. "
Automatic quality assessment and peak identification of auditory brainstem responses with fitted
parametric peaks. (Automatic Quality Assessment and Peak Identification of Auditory Brainstem
Response with Parametric Peaks) "Computer methods and programs in biomedicine 114.3
(2014): 262-275. Other methods, such as are well described.
[0073]
FIG. 6 shows the frequency response in the time domain of a typical normal ear as compared to
an ear with mild deafness.
[0074]
FIG. 7 shows the RMS amplitude of auditory evoked potential responses in the frequency domain
of normal ears and ears with mild deafness.
The solid line shows the auditory transfer function associated with the normal ear and the
07-05-2019
21
dashed line shows the auditory transfer function associated with the ear with mild deafness.
[0075]
Two AEPs have been found to be particularly convenient with respect to one or more
embodiments of the present invention, namely auditory stationary response (ASSR) and
combined auditory brainstem response (cABR). The ASSR is particularly useful for this
application as the detection of responses is performed statistically by published methods
including: Muhler, Roland, Katrin Mentzel, and Jesko Verhey. "Fast hearing-threshold estimation
using multiple auditory steady-state responses with narrow-band chirps and adaptive stimulus
patterns. "Fast auditory threshold estimation using multiple auditory steady-state responses
using narrowband chirp signals and adaptive stimulation patterns" "The Scientific World Journal
2012 (2012)
[0076]
Other features / advantages in the above embodiment include: Multiple frequencies can be tested
simultaneously, and both ears can be tested simultaneously. Phase information is also available.
The use of cABR involves recording electroencephalogram (EEG) activity while the complex
sound is being played back to the user. Multiple responses to the same stimulus are usually
averaged by the processor in the time domain or frequency domain. • Low frequency (typically
less than 1 kHz) sounds are followed by a delay due to the EEG waveform (frequency after
response). • Transient characteristics of the sound, such as a sudden rise at the beginning of an
utterance, a note or a drum beat, generate an additional cABR-like waveform in the EEG
waveform. CABR analysis can also be applied to estimate the auditory transfer function of the ear
in response to a continuous sound like music.
[0077]
FIG. 8A illustrates a Fourier analysis of the low-pass filtered and output sound signal and EEG
(frequency after response) according to one embodiment. The low pass filtered output signal and
the EEG frequency after response provide the low frequency portion of the auditory transfer
function. Due to the low signal to noise ratio (SNR), frequency domain averaging is required.
07-05-2019
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[0078]
FIG. 8B is a flowchart of a technique for determining the low frequency portion of the auditory
transfer function, according to one embodiment. At step 800, the processors 8, 44 and / or 88
repeatedly perform Fourier transforms and / or fast Fourier transforms of the audio signal and
the response, such as the EEG response. The audio signal includes multiple frequency ranges,
including frequency ranges such as 125, 250, 500 and 1000 Hz. At step 810, the processors 8,
44 and / or 88 determine the loudness of each frequency range and the amplitude of the
detected response, such as the EEG response. At step 820, the processors 8, 44 and / or 88
construct successive sets of average values of frequency range / loudness. Although this
technique is simpler and more accurate than the high frequency version, it does not work well at
higher frequencies as the body low pass filters the response.
[0079]
FIG. 9A illustrates information about high frequency hearing obtained by analyzing a response
such as an EEG signal after acoustic transients, according to one embodiment. Element 900 is an
input audio signal. Element 910 is a signal obtained from a sensor such as an EEG sensor.
Element 920 is a peak detected in input audio signal 900.
[0080]
FIG. 9B is a flow chart of a technique for determining the high frequency portion of the auditory
transfer function, according to one embodiment. At step 930, the processor 8, 44 and / or 88
identifies a transient in the output sound, for example detecting that the volume moves from
below the threshold to a specific level above the threshold in a few milliseconds Identify by
doing. At step 940, processors 8, 44 and / or 88 determine the stimulated portion of the cochlea
by performing a Fourier analysis on the first few milliseconds of the transient. For example, a fast
Fourier transform is performed in the first few milliseconds of the transient, thereby identifying
the stimulated portion of the cochlea (1 kHz as an assumption) in the loudness of the stimulus. At
step 950, the processor 8, 44 and / or 88 checks if the baseline noise from the sensor is
acceptable, eg if the baseline noise is less than 10 μVRMS just before the transient condition
Check if At step 960, if the noise on the signal, such as the EEG signal, is acceptably low, the RMS
value of the signal in the time window before and after the transient is recorded. The transient
and EEG amplitude frequency ranges and loudness are stored in memory 46 and / or 90. At step
970, the processors 8, 44 and / or 88 continuously repeat the above steps as the user listens to
07-05-2019
23
music, thereby calculating the average value of the plurality of sets of frequencies / loudnesses.
[0081]
Multiple entries are matched for each frequency / loudness combination or pool of near
frequencies and loudness. The averaged pre-RMS and post-RMS values are compared to the
response range from normal hearing listeners and hearing impaired listeners, thereby developing
a high frequency auditory transfer function for each ear.
[0082]
As mentioned above, in order to develop a frequency dependent auditory transfer function for
each ear of the user, both amplitude and phase comparisons are normal hearing listeners and
deaf by processor 8, 44 and / or 88. It can be compared to the response range from the listener.
The response phase can be obtained by the OAE and ASSR in addition to the magnitude of the
signal. In those embodiments where both amplitude and phase are used, it is desirable to use one
of these two techniques. However, in other embodiments of the invention where different AEPs
can be induced in the user's ear, processors 8, 44 and / or 88 may only be able to compare
amplitudes.
[0083]
In embodiments where phase and amplitude are captured in the auditory transfer function, the
processors 8, 44 and / or 88 (for embodiments where phase information from objective auditory
measurements is available) It effectively implements a finite input response (FIR) filter with a
magnitude that minimizes the effect, thereby making the user's perception of the audio signal
similar to that of an ideal auditory person.
[0084]
In another embodiment, the frequency dependent auditory transfer function for the user's ear is
configured entirely with gains for each frequency band as described above, for example 500,
1000, 2000 and 4000 Hz.
07-05-2019
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Two practical ways to set the gain are, first, simply to set the gain according to the difference
between the detected audible threshold and the amplitude from the auditory transfer function of
the ideal auditory profile Be However, secondly, the relative amplitudes of the AEP / OAE at
multiple frequencies may be compared to sound levels above one or more thresholds. For
example, the amplitudes of AEP / OAE at 500, 1000, 2000 and 4000 Hz for 80 dB stimulation
are 120, 90, 100 and 110 units, and the signal amplitudes of ideal auditory people are 105, 100,
95 and 100 units. If it is desired, the equalizer gain is adjusted accordingly by the processor 8,
44 and / or 88. Different users may have different head sizes, more hair, more skin, etc. What the
processors 8, 44 and / or 88 compensate is shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 Thus, it will be appreciated
that it is not an absolute value, but an actual ratio between values for different frequencies.
[0085]
Both OAE and AEP measurements can be performed at different times in a number of different
ways: • Depending on the user's request, a perfect auditory transfer function of the user's ear can
be created. The complete auditory transfer function of the user's ear may be created when the
user turns on the headphones for the first time or when the user listens to the audio for the first
time. A partial auditory transfer function is measured each time the user turns on the
headphones, or every time the user listens to audio, becoming a complete auditory transfer
function over time. Once a complete auditory transfer function is completed, additional partial
auditory transfer functions iteratively improve the stored function. • Partial auditory transfer
functions may be interleaved between songs, or when audio is input to the device.
[0086]
When implementing the cABR method of estimating the auditory transfer function, EEG
recording is performed continuously during any time the audio is being played. Many hours of
audio are required to obtain sufficient transients to estimate the high frequency portion of the
auditory transfer function.
[0087]
Any external microphone or internal microphone can also be used to determine if the ambient
noise level is too high for accurate objective or psychophysical measurements and measurements
that were not made during such time.
07-05-2019
25
[0088]
The accuracy of the compensation applied while the equalizer function is performed by the
processor 8, 44 and / or 88 is improved by collecting many examples of hearing profiles of
normal hearing listeners and hearing impaired listeners Be done.
In this regard, objective and psychophysical hearing measurement data characterizing the
audible threshold of each user of headphones 10 or earphones 70 may be transmitted to a
remote database (not shown). Collecting a sufficient number of this kind of objective and
psychophysical audiometry data from a sufficient number of users results in higher accuracy in
the frequency dependent auditory transfer function of normal hearing listeners and hearing
impaired listeners. The processor 8 may be determined and normalized by means of a wireless or
wired connection to the Internet, for example by means of a smartphone application, for later
storing in the memory 46 and / or 90 a normalized auditory transfer function. , 44 and / or 88
may be input. This normalized auditory transfer function may be later used by the processor 8,
44 and / or 88 during the execution of the functions described above.
[0089]
Those skilled in the art will appreciate that there may be variations and modifications to the
arrangements described herein within the scope of the present invention as defined by the claims
appended hereto.
[0090]
For example, in other embodiments, the auditory transfer function may be processed by the
processor 8, 44, and / or 88 using a more complex method similar to that used in the hearing aid
fitting rules described in the source below. It is also possible to derive from audiometric data:
Pascoe, David Pedro.
"Clinical measurements of the auditory dynamic range and their relation to formulas for hearing
aid gain. Hearing aid fitting: Theoretical and practical views (1988): 129-152. Http://www.blogaudioprothesiste.fr/wp- content / uploads / 2011/02 / 129-52-Pascoe-CLINICALMEASUREMENTS-OF-THE-AUDITORY-DYNAMIC-RANGE.pdf · Byrne, Denis, et al. " NAL-NL1
procedure for fitting non-linear hearing aids: Characteristics and comparisons with other
procedures. (NAL-NL1 procedure for fitting non-linear hearing aids: comparison with
07-05-2019
26
characteristics and other procedures) "JOURNAL-AMERICAN ACADEMY OF AUDIOLOGY 12.1
(2001): 37-51
[0091]
User Identification FIG. 10 illustrates an example of a strain component OAE microstructure,
according to one embodiment. This figure shows Shaffer, Lauren A., et al. " Sources and
mechanisms of DP-OAE generation: implications for the prediction of auditory sensitivity. (DPOAE Development Source and Mechanism: Influence on Prediction of Auditory Sensitivity) "Ear
and hearing 24.5 (2003): Modified from 367-379. Element 1000 is a third order difference
sound, and element 1010 is noise inside the user's ear. Here, it is assumed that the frequency of
the primary sound f1 is low and the frequency of the primary sound f2 is high. When two pure
tones f1 and f2 are presented simultaneously to the human ear, the most prominent "distortion
component" (DP) occurs at 2f1-f2 ("third-order difference tone" 1000). For example, in the case
of f1 = 1000 Hz and f2 = 1200 Hz, 2f1-f2 = 2 (1000) -1200 = 2000-1200 = 800 Hz. Also, if the
ratio of f1 to f2 is about 1.22, and the strength is f1 = 65 dB SPL, f2 = 50 dB SPL, the third order
difference tone 1000 is at least 50 dB smaller than f1, and 2f1-f2 DP-OAE is It will be the largest.
[0092]
Third order difference tone 1000 originates from two separate sites in the cochlea, a first site
and a second site, and signals from each interfere constructively and destructively with each
other, causing multiple peaks in response. And give rise to valleys. The pattern of specific
locations (in the frequency domain) of the peaks and valleys is called fine structure and is unique
to each ear. The third difference tone 1000 response from the user may be compared to a
plurality of third difference tones stored in the database. The database may be integrated into the
headphones 1, 10, 70, or may be a remote database.
[0093]
The processor 8, 44 and / or 88 compares the measured third difference sound 1000 with a
plurality of third difference sounds stored in the database to identify the subject. Processors 8,
44 and / or 88 use a match score, such as root mean square error, to make this comparison. For
example, processors 8, 44, and / or 88 select the third difference sound with the best match
07-05-2019
27
score, such as the third difference sound with the smallest root mean square error. If the match
score of the selected third order difference tone meets a certain threshold, such as a root mean
square error of less than 25%, the match is determined. If the selected third order difference
sound does not meet the threshold requirement, no identification / authentication takes place. If
a match is determined, the processor derives the user ID associated with the matched third
difference sound.
[0094]
According to one embodiment, biometric data associated with the user, such as the user's head,
may be used to improve the accuracy of the identification. For example, if there are multiple third
order difference tones that meet a certain threshold, the user can be identified based on the
quality of the match of the biometric data. In another example, the user may be identified based
on the quality of the biometric data match if there are multiple third order difference tones
whose root mean square errors are within 5% of each other.
[0095]
The user's perception of sound (ie, auditory transfer function) may be measured using any of the
above disclosed methods, such as subjective methods, AEP, EEG, etc. The auditory transfer
function of each user is unique. The auditory transfer function of the user is stored in a database,
such as a database integrated in headphones 1, 10, 70 or a remote database. Similarly,
processors 8, 44 and / or 88 compare the measured auditory transfer function to the user
auditory profile of the database to thereby identify the subject.
[0096]
Based on the identification of the subject, the headphones may modify the sound according to
the user's hearing profile, load and play a playlist associated with the identified user, and so on.
This user identity may also be used alone or in conjunction with other methods for security
purposes.
[0097]
Other types of objective data measured from the ear, such as in situ speaker frequency response
07-05-2019
28
or data derived from the in situ speaker frequency response such as acoustic impedance of the
ear, can also be used for identification .
[0098]
FIG. 11 shows an embodiment of the invention where the OAE probe also functions as a set of
headphones for consumer audio applications.
The probe 1 of FIG. 4B is also replicated on the other ear and connected to a wired or wireless
analog or digital audio interface 1100. The microprocessor 1110 controls the measurement of
the biometric profile and performs the analysis. If no discrepancies are found, the audio
information is routed to the speakers.
[0099]
The foregoing description of the various embodiments of the claimed subject matter has been
provided for the purposes of illustration and description. The description is not intended to be
exhaustive or to limit the claimed subject matter to the precise forms disclosed. Many
modifications and variations will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art. The
embodiments have been chosen to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical
application, so that one skilled in the relevant art will recognize the claimed subject matter, the
various embodiments and the specific embodiments considered. Various modifications suitable
for the application can be understood from these embodiments.
[0100]
Although the embodiments are described in the context of a fully functional computer and
computer system, one of ordinary skill in the art would appreciate that the various embodiments
can be distributed as various forms of program products and do so in practice. It will be
understood that the present disclosure applies equally regardless of the particular type of
machine or computer readable medium used for.
[0101]
07-05-2019
29
While the above Detailed Description has set forth specific embodiments and the best mode
contemplated, many of these embodiments will be described, regardless of the level of detail
disclosed above in the text. It can be carried out by the method of
The details of the systems and methods may vary considerably in their implementation details,
but they are still encompassed herein. As mentioned above, certain terms used in describing
certain features or aspects of the various embodiments are limited herein to the particular
features, features, or aspects of the invention to which they pertain. As such, it should not be
understood as implying that the term is redefined. Overall, the terms used in the following claims
are intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiments disclosed herein, unless explicitly
defined otherwise herein. It should not be interpreted. Thus, the actual scope of the present
invention encompasses not only the disclosed embodiments, but also all equivalent methods of
implementing or implementing the claimed embodiments.
[0102]
The language used herein is selected primarily for readability and teaching purposes, and may
not be selected for delineating or limiting the subject matter of the present invention.
Accordingly, the scope of the present invention is intended to be limited not by this detailed
description, but by any claims issued in the application based on the present specification.
Accordingly, the disclosure of the various embodiments is intended to be illustrative of the scope
of the embodiments set forth in the following claims, and not intended to be limiting.
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