OKI Develops Compact Sound Source Separation (SSS) Microphone Module with Ambient Voice Suppressor (AVS) Technology

  OKI Develops Compact Sound Source Separation (SSS) Microphone Module with
  Ambient Voice Suppressor (AVS) Technology

              - For clear communication in noisy environments -

Business Wire

TOKYO -- January 28, 2013

OKI (TOKYO:6703) has developed an ambient voice suppressor (AVS) technology
that accurately extracts voice periods and suppresses noise, and a compact
sound source separation (SSS) microphone module based on this technology.
Achieving significant improvements in separating and extracting the speaker's
voice from surrounding noise, the AVS technology makes possible stress-free
communications via smartphones and other mobile devices in noisy environments,
such as exhibition halls, inside vehicles, train stations, and so on.

Smartphones have grown increasingly popular in recent years and are often used
in hands-free for teleconferencing or other purposes, as well as for ordinary
phone calls. When a mobile phone is used for hands-free calls in noisy public
locations, the phone's microphone might pick up surrounding voices and
background noise, generating howling or degrading speech communication
quality.

"To counter these problems, OKI has developed AVS technology based on many
years of research on sound source separation.^1" says Takeshi Kamijoh, General
Manager of Research and Development Center at OKI. "AVS technology uses
multiple microphones to suppress surrounding voices and background noise. In
the verification test using a newly-developed compact SSS microphone module in
which AVS is embedded, we confirmed that the technology provides improved
clarity in noisy environments (bus terminals and train platforms)."

OKI plans to promote the use of compact SSS microphone modules and sound
source separation software featuring the AVS technology in information
communication devices and continue to develop for further applications.

Some developments related to AVS were based on the joint development with
Professor Tetsunori Kobayashi, Waseda University.

Features of the compact SSS microphone module incorporating AVS
1. Improved voice call quality
The technology improves the clarity of the speaker's voice by suppressing
background noise and surrounding voices in noisy environments. Sound
diffraction occurred by hands-free conversations under extremely noisy
conditions often generates howling. The AVS suppresses diffracted sound
components, which eliminate howling and ensure clear voice communication.

The AVS technology can improve not only mobile devices like smartphones, but
also various other products with voice communication functions such as
intercoms and videoconferencing systems, etc. The compact SSS microphone
module is also suitable for ATMs, ticket-vending machines, and other
technology incorporating voice communication functions.

2. Preventing speech recognition system from false recognition
Many of today's smartphones and car-mounted navigation systems have voice
search functions with speech recognition technologies. In noisy locations,
these functions might erroneously respond to not the user-speaker's voice but
others. Under these conditions, the compact SSS microphone module suppresses
surrounding voices and prevents the speech recognition system from false
recognition.

[Glossary]
^1 Sound source separation
A technology that extracts just the target sound source from a mixed sound
including multiple-source sounds and various background noises.

About OKI Electric Industry (OKI)
Founded in 1881, OKI Electric Industry is Japan's leading telecommunications
manufacturer in the Info-telecom field. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, OKI
provides top-quality products, technologies, and solutions to customers
through its info-telecom systems and printer operations. Its various business
divisions function synergistically to bring to market exciting new products
and technologies that meet a wide range of customer needs in various sectors.
Visit OKI's global website at http://www.oki.com/.

Notes:

  *The names of the companies and products mentioned in this document are the
    trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective companies and
    organizations.

Contact:

OKI Electric Industry
Sonomi Kitamura, +81-3-3501-3835
Public Relations Division
press@oki.com
 
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