SMARTVOICE: An Intelligent Sound Field System for the Classroom

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Education
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$248,556.00
Award Year:
1997
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
n/a
Award Id:
34498
Agency Tracking Number:
34498
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
33 Wildflower Ct., Nederland, CO, 80466
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Norman Lederman, M.S.
Director of R&D
() -
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
The adverse acoustical environments typically found in classrooms have led to the development and proliferation of a new generation of small sound systems usually referred to as "sound field systems" (SFS). Recent studies support the usefulness of SFS to enhance the intelligibility of teachers' voices for the benefit of students with mild unaided hearing losses or attention deficits, and normally hearing students as well. Studies have also indicated how classroom teachers' emotional, mental and physical health benefit through the use of SFS by reducing vocal effort and stress. All current SFS have similar components: wireless microphone, basic amplifier and loudspeakers, and identical problems: howling feedback, inappropriate gain settings and operational difficulties. We propose to develop, validate and commercialize the first intelligent SFS that we call SmartVoice. SmartVoice will include a proprietary amplifier that continuously monitors ambient noise levels in the classroom, automatically making adjustments to the system's gain in order to maintain a preset optimal signal to noise ratio irrespective of changing environmental conditions. The SmartVoice will also automatically suppress feedback, adjust frequency response, regulate sound levels and notify the teacher of inappropriate settings. Our plan to create and commercialize SmartVoice will be facilitated by field testing at educational sites.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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