Patents Examined by James E. Tomassini
  • Patent number: 5111447
    Abstract: A photo-pickup wherein a light emitting portion, a surface acoustic wave generating portion, a lens portion, a light receiving portion and a control portion are integrally integrated on a base plate formed on its surface with a light transmission path. The light emitting portion propagates a light beam to the light transmission path. The light beam propagating in the light transmission path is first deflected within a plane of the light transmission path by surface acoustic wave propagating on the light transmission path and propagated towards the lens portion. The lens portion is provided to project the light beam outside from the light transmission path and effect two-dimentional focusing of the projected beam and adjustment of focal position. The light receiving portion comprises a combination of a plurality of light receiving elements disposed at suitable intervals from the projected position of the light beam to receive a reflected light of the light beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 1990
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1992
    Assignee: Omron Tateisi Electronics Co.
    Inventors: Tsukasa Yamashita, Nobuhisa Inoue, Mori Kazuhiko, Masaharu Matano, Isao Taguchi
  • Patent number: 5010567
    Abstract: An automatic telephone answering system including a recorder having an input and an output connected to a telephone line for the recording and playing of messages and which is remotely controllable through the use of a dual-tone signal. A recorder control apparatus controls the recorder and is connected to receive input signals sent over the telephone line to the recorder and output signals sent from the recorder. The recorder control apparatus generates an inhibit signal to the recorder when the recorder control apparatus detects the fact that at the input or output a signal having dual-tone frequencies continues for a predetermined maximum allowable time which is shorter than the minimum time for dual-tone signal detection, thereby preventing said signal having the dual-tone frequencies from being input to or output from the recorder over a time period longer than said minimum time for dual-tone signal detection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 1988
    Date of Patent: April 23, 1991
    Assignee: Tandy Electronics Japan Ltd.
    Inventor: Masayuki Tsushima
  • Patent number: 5008871
    Abstract: A digital dictation system having plural ports through which dictate and transcribe stations may be connected to a central store via respective dictate and transcribe channels for recording and transcribing messages. The transcribe port may be selectively conditioned, as by operating a manual selector, for enabling a dictate station to be connected therethrough to carry out dictate operations with the central store. Upon release of the port by the dictate station, the port reverts to its normal transcribe condition. By providing at least two ports, separate dictate and transcribe operations may be carried out concurrently on the same message. A dictator may review and edit a portion of the message which has already been transcribed by the transciptionist, whereupon the system automatically conditions the transcribe apparatus to play back the edit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1988
    Date of Patent: April 16, 1991
    Inventors: Joseph A. Howells, Emil F. Jachmann, Robert L. Rubenstein
  • Patent number: 5007078
    Abstract: A system and method for recording voice messages received in an automated message exchange system. Voice messages are digitized by the message exchange system at the time they are received. At a convenient time determined by the computer of the message system, such digitized voice messages are converted back to a verbal audio signal for recording on a conventional cassette tape recorder. Other digital information stored in the message exchange system may also be verbalized for recording on the tape recorder in association with the corresponding voice message. An interface unit starts the cassette tape recorder when the message exchange system is ready to begin taping a message, conveys a signal to the message exchange system confirming that the tape recorder is operating properly, and then conveys the verbal audio signal to be recorded from the message exchange system to the cassette tape recorder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 1989
    Date of Patent: April 9, 1991
    Assignee: American Communications & Engineering, Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald K. Masson, Michael W. Edelson
  • Patent number: 5003574
    Abstract: A voice capture system for use with a telephone switching system and transcribing terminals to record calling party generated information in predefined formats. The system digitizes and records messages generated by calling parties served by the telephone switching system and records recognized terminology occurring within the calling party voice messages as file records. The transcribing terminals are enabled to display the file record terminology in predefined formats and the recorded digitized calling party messages are transmitted as audio messages via a telephone coupled with the telephone switching system to operators of the transcribing terminals so that the operators may enter information contained within the recorded messages into the transcribing terminals to complete the predefined format that are subsequently recorded in the voice capture system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 1989
    Date of Patent: March 26, 1991
    Assignee: AT&T Bell Laboratories
    Inventors: Dong L. Denq, Linda M. Mattson, Robert J. Perdue, Eugene L. Rissanen
  • Patent number: 5003575
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for storing and forwarding voice signals wherein a user has increased control and flexibility in distributing voice signals. In one embodiment the originator of a stored voice signal may restrict an addressee's ability to forward a message to other users. In another, the originator may limit the addressee's ability to use the voice store and forward system until such time as the addressee responds to a stored voice signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 24, 1987
    Date of Patent: March 26, 1991
    Inventors: David B. Chamberlin, Mark N. Harris, Emil F. Jachmann, Jeremy Saltzman, Jy-Hong Su
  • Patent number: 4998234
    Abstract: An improved focus and tracking error detection circuit for an optical disk servo system. The circuit calculates the logarithm of the signal from each of at least a pair of photodetectors. The difference between two logarithmic signals is then determined to give an error signal. The invention takes advantage of the property of logarithms that the difference between two logarithmic signals is equivalent to the logarithm of the ratio of the two signals. Accordingly, the error signal is a ratio, rather than an absolute difference signal, and is thus insensitive to variations which affect both signals. In addition, the logarithmic circuits inherently minimize variations which affect the photodetectors unequally by performing an AGC-type function. The error signal is inhibited during a write pulse to the laser to prevent saturation of the amplifiers. An automatic, periodic offset adjustment is provided by turning off the laser and varying an offset voltage until the error signal is zero.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 1989
    Date of Patent: March 5, 1991
    Inventors: Theodore D. Rees, Ian Turner, William L. Harvey
  • Patent number: 4985913
    Abstract: According to the present invention, a telephone answering machine stores a plurality of messages and establishes a correspondence between those messages and a plurality of phone numbers. The phone number of a caller is identified and one of the plurality of messages selected for playback based on the identified phone number and the established correspondence. In a preferred embodiment, the answering machine is microprocessor-based and the correspondence of telephone numbers to messages is stored in a memory table. Messages may be stored either on magnetic media or in semiconductor memory using a signal compression/decompression module where economy dictates in order to reduce the size of the semiconductor memory. Microprocessor control allows economical realization of a full-featured machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 1989
    Date of Patent: January 15, 1991
    Assignee: Stephen R. Shalom
    Inventors: Stephen R. Shalom, David A. Cane
  • Patent number: 4984095
    Abstract: Video signal processing apparatus in which a reproduced signal and a delayed video signal produced by a delay mechanism are selectively produced and supplied to the delay mechanism and the delayed video signal produced by the delay mechanism is mixed with the video signal to be supplied to the delay mechanism.This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 017,001, filed Feb. 19, 1987, now abandoned, which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 545,750, filed Oct. 26, 1983, now abandoned.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 1989
    Date of Patent: January 8, 1991
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Makoto Takayama, Tsuguhide Sakata, Tomotaka Muramoto
  • Patent number: 4982420
    Abstract: A system which presents a user with a sequence of prompt messages and stores user responses to at least selected ones of these prompt messages, classifies the stored user responses in a first category when the user responds to a first one of the prompt messages and not to a second one of the prompt messages, and classifies the stored user reponses in a second category when the user responds to both the first and second prompt messages. In addition, this system classifies the stored user response in a third category when the response includes any one of a plurality of code words, and in a fourth category when the user response includes none of these code words. An alternate embodiment classifies stored user responses in accordance with the duration of the response to a selected prompt message. The described classification techniques materially enhance transcription efficiency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 1988
    Date of Patent: January 1, 1991
    Inventor: Peter F. Theis
  • Patent number: 4979206
    Abstract: An arrangement for obtaining directory assistance automatically and without the assistance of an operator. A customer requesting directory assistance is connected to an automatic speech recognition unit (ASRU) and is prompted to speak commands for identifying the requested directory number. The ASRU converts received speech signals from the customer into data signals for searching a directory number data base. If a directory listing is located, the number of that listing is announced to the customer and the customer is automatically prompted to speak a command indicating whether a call to that number should be automatically established. The telecommunications switching network responds to a positive command by automatically establishing such a connection. Advantageously, such an arrangement provides directory assistance service automatically without requiring special customer equipment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 1989
    Date of Patent: December 18, 1990
    Assignee: AT&T Bell Laboratories
    Inventors: Frederick W. Padden, Werner Ulrich
  • Patent number: 4975896
    Abstract: The network is particularly useful in office communications. The network includes a plurality of transceiver units, each of which can be used as a telephone, or as a dictation terminal, or optionally as an automatic telephone answering machine. The network includes a personal computer for performing various communications and communication control functions. A private branch telephone exchange ("PBX") can be included. Preferably, each transceiver unit includes a visual display for displaying messages. Messages can be sent from the computer to the transceiver units, or from one transceiver unit to another. The messages can be pre-set standard messages, or messages created uniquely. A telephone or PBX operator may send messages through the network reporting missed telephone calls, thus avoiding the need for written notes or other memoranda. The personal computer is used to send, forward, store and log messages. It can do telephone call accounting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1986
    Date of Patent: December 4, 1990
    Inventors: Nicholas A. D'Agosto, III, David B. Chamberlin, Jy-Hong Su, Jeremy Saltzman
  • Patent number: 4975894
    Abstract: A dictation system having two or more recording units, each selectively operable as a dictation unit or a transcription unit, and including a selector for selecting a respective unit for recording or transcription. A unit selected for recording dictation is enabled if a record medium therein is ready, or initialized, for recording; otherwise the unit is enabled for transcription. While one unit operates to record dictation, the other may operate simultaneously to transcribe previously recorded dictation. In a system having at least three recording units, at least two are identified with respective, particular identities and the third is designated a spare recording unit. After a predetermined amount of dictation has been recorded on any one of the identified recording units, further dictation destined for that identified unit is recorded on the spare unit, and the identity of the spare unit is charged over to be equal to the identity of the recording unit for which dictation had been intended.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 1988
    Date of Patent: December 4, 1990
    Inventors: Emil F. Jachmann, Robert L. Rubenstein, Joseph A. Howells
  • Patent number: 4969136
    Abstract: The network is particularly useful in office communications. The network includes a plurality of transceiver units, each of which can be used as a telephone, or as a dictation terminal, or optionally as an automatic telephone answering machine. The network includes a personal computer for performing various communications and communication control functions. Preferably, each transceiver unit includes a visual display for displaying messages. The computer stores and retrieves information regarding appointments that the users of the network may have. Daily, weekly and monthly appointment calendars are provided for every user of the network. The user is given a reminder message through the network at a predetermined time prior to the appointment. Appointment schedules for current, prior and future time periods can be viewed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1986
    Date of Patent: November 6, 1990
    Inventors: David B. Chamberlin, Jy-Hong Su
  • Patent number: 4964108
    Abstract: A sound reproducing apparatus is provided with an audio signal processing circuit for receiving an audio signal from a signal input circuit and applying the same to a speaker or sound producer through a variable resistor which is adjusted to vary its effective resistance value by an actuator operating in response to a drive signal so as to reproduce sound corresponding to the audio signal with a volume determined by the effective resistance value of the variable resistor, a time control for causing the audio signal processing circuit to commence operation automatically at a preset time, a duration setting arrangement operative in response to a duration setting signal to store in a memory data corresponding to a selected duration of operation of the actuator, and a controller programmed to be operative, when the time control causes the commencement of operation of the audio signal processing circuit at the preset time, to cause a signal generator to apply a drive signal to the actuator for the selected duratio
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 1989
    Date of Patent: October 16, 1990
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Masahiro Ohtsu, Tohru Kurita
  • Patent number: 4959855
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are described for automatically connecting a calling customer to the customer identified by the directory number requested by the calling customer from a directory assistance operator. The calling customer need not disconnect and reoriginate a call; instead, the directory assistance system uses the directory number information located in response to the calling customer's request to control the establishment of a connection directly. The request for such a connection is detected by the operator or by a voice processing unit used to monitor a connection for announcing the directory number to the calling customer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 1988
    Date of Patent: September 25, 1990
    Assignee: AT&T Bell Laboratories
    Inventor: Abraham N. Daudelin
  • Patent number: 4959852
    Abstract: A telephone answering machine having solid state storage of an outgoing announcement (OGA) is improved by magnetic tape apparatus 120 for providing backup protection of the OGA in the event of a power failure. Also stored on the magnetic tape is the time duration of the OGA. Analog to digital conversion of the OGA, for storage in Dynamic Random Access Memories 210, 220 and 230, proceeds at a sampling rate that is inversely proportional to the time duration of the OGA to assure that the available memory space is fully utilized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 1987
    Date of Patent: September 25, 1990
    Assignee: AT&T Information Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald J. Kern, Alan D. Michel, William V. Powell, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4958367
    Abstract: A multichannel communications recorder having the capability to display channel activity, failsafe back-up capability, a unique identification code with provision for changing such code, and apparatus for securing access to the communications recorder. The recorder is formed from modular elements. In each configuration one or more record decks is controlled by a control module having a display. Control is provided by a user selecting to implement functions defined in accordance with a particular page displayed. Acces to various pages is controlled by various levels of passwords with the highest level being used by a service person to input information defining selected configuration and to run diagnostic tests and lower levels being provided to users of the system. Because of the need to provide physical security for recorded tapes, each tape deck is secured by an electro-mechanical lock, which operates under system control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1987
    Date of Patent: September 18, 1990
    Inventors: Raymond F. Freer, Willy M. Sander
  • Patent number: 4958366
    Abstract: A telephone answering device wherein an outgoing message translated from an original language into each of several different foreign languages is sent out in a predetermined order to a calling party of any foreign country when he pushes ten-keys on a push-button telephone in a predetermined order, so that the calling party can get the most understandable outgoing message. The outgoing messages translated into major foreign languages are previously stored depending on the country's language situation, or otherwise the prerecorded original outgoing message is translated into one of the foreign languages by a built-in translating device each time the calling party pushes a ten-key, to be delivered to the calling party.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 1988
    Date of Patent: September 18, 1990
    Assignee: Hashimoto Corporation
    Inventor: Kazuo Hashimoto
  • Patent number: 4955051
    Abstract: A telephone dictating apparatus comprises DTMF signal converting means which converts DTMF signals given by depressing four push-buttons arranged in one of three longitudinal lines to four mode signals in the same order as the four push-buttons which have one to one correspondence to four mode setting positions associated with a tape running system in a slide switch for switching modes which is employed in a hand microphone for dictation or the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 1987
    Date of Patent: September 4, 1990
    Assignee: Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Masaaki Sato