Novel Ear-like Dual Microphone System Tunes Out Background Noise In Cellphones

Jul 23, 2004
Novel Ear-like Dual Microphone System Tunes Out Background Noise In Cellphones

Background noise that interferes with cellphone conversations could be a thing of the past thanks to a dual microphone system developed at the University of Toronto.

"In typical environments there is background noise and reverberations that make it hard to carry on a cellphone conversation," says lead researcher Professor Parham Aarabi of U of T's Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "This system employs two microphones that, just like the two human ears, focus on the speaker's voice and filter out other noises."

The system uses time-frequency filters to determine the speaker of interest's location based on the length of time it takes for the most intense sound to arrive at the microphones. As the two microphones observe the speaker's voice, a computer chip continuously decides which frequencies belong to the speaker and which ones to the extraneous noise. The interference is then "damaged" and the volume is scaled back.

"Other speech recognition systems only reduce the background noise, but this technology also deconstructs other conversations into a slight hum so they don't confuse you," says Aarabi, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Multi-Sensor Information Systems. "By using this approach we've been able to get 30 per cent gains in recognition accuracy over alternative state-of-the-art, multi-microphone speech recognition systems."

While the dual microphone system is currently too bulky to fit into cellphones, Aarabi predicts that a miniaturized version is only about two years away. A customized chip that enhances voice recognition software in PCs is only months away. The eventual miniaturized version will be a pen-sized device with two or four microphones and with all the batteries and electronics contained inside. The research appears in a study published in the August issue of IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Part B.

Source:

Explore further: Finnish inventor rethinks design of the axe

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

App facilitates mission feedback

Sep 10, 2013

A doctoral student from ETH Zurich has developed a smartphone app that enables fire-fighter team processes to be recorded and evaluated. The software passed the field test with the Zurich Fire Service. Now ...

Samsung unveils 55-inch 'Super OLED TV'

Jan 10, 2012

Samsung Electronics today unveiled its 55-inch Super OLED TV. The OLED TV will be produced from a single pane of glass and uses Samsung’s Super OLED technology to deliver the ultimate in picture quality and thinness. ...

Europe looks into helicopter commuting

Jun 20, 2011

A European research program is studying the feasibility of a new kind of individual transport that avoids traffic jams by taking to the skies. Two laboratories at EPFL participate in this project.

Recommended for you

Finnish inventor rethinks design of the axe

1 hour ago

(Phys.org) —Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä is the man behind the Vipukirves Leveraxe, which is a precision tool for splitting firewood. He designed the tool to make the job easier and more efficient, with ...

Japan's digital eyes show your emotions for you

2 hours ago

Can't be bothered to show anyone what you're thinking? Then a Japanese scientist has the answer—a pair of digital eyes that can express delight and anger, or even feign boredom.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Finnish inventor rethinks design of the axe

(Phys.org) —Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä is the man behind the Vipukirves Leveraxe, which is a precision tool for splitting firewood. He designed the tool to make the job easier and more efficient, with ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.

Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 ...