Converting Information To Sound Patents (Class 434/116)
  • Patent number: 9247085
    Abstract: A wireless scanner includes an optical scanning assembly which includes a housing, a light source circuit board, a reflective member and an image capture module. The housing has a bottom wall defining a window, a high end wall, a short end wall and two side walls. Two edges of the two side walls connecting with the top wall and the short end wall are defined as slopes. The light source circuit board is mounted to one of the two side walls and inclined upward and outward. The reflective member is mounted to the slopes and receives light from the light source circuit board to reflect it uniformly on the window. The image capture module is mounted to the high end wall for receiving light which is from an original in the window and reflected by the reflective member and then transmitting it to a Printed Circuit Board assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2016
    Assignee: Foxlink Image Technology Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Chi Wen Chen, Chun Yuan Sun, Chia Hsiang Wang, Yen Chi Wu
  • Patent number: 9037467
    Abstract: A method of complementing a spoken text. The method including receiving text data representative of a natural language text, receiving effect control data including at least one effect control record, each effect control record being associated with a respective location in the natural language text, receiving a stream of audio data, analyzing the stream of audio data for natural language utterances that correlate with the natural language text at a respective one of the locations, and outputting, in response to a determination by the analyzing that a natural language utterance in the stream of audio data correlates with a respective one of the locations, at least one effect control signal based on the effect control record associated with the respective location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Thomas H. Gnech, Steffen Koenig, Oliver Petrik
  • Patent number: 8894495
    Abstract: A multi-part system utilizing an active-passive configuration of Near Field Communications (“NFC”) in order to facilitate the ability of a visually-impaired person to: (i) ascertain the specific rank and suit of a playing card; and (ii) maintain privacy of information regarding the identity of the card. The present invention comprises: (i) a passive “NFC Tag” that is embedded within a playing card and that is encoded with the information necessary to identify the rank and suit of the card; and (ii) an active “NFC Reader” that is disposed within a wearable sheath and is designed to receive and to relay the said information to a wearable earpiece; and (iii) a said earpiece that deploys a combination of hardware and software in order to convert the said information to an audible signal that identifies the card for a user of the invention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2014
    Inventor: David Saul Vogel
  • Publication number: 20140272815
    Abstract: An apparatus and method are provided for performing one or more actions based on triggers detecting within captured image data. In one implementation, a method is provided for audibly reading text retrieved from a captured image. According to the method, real-time image data is captured from an environment of a user, and an existence of a trigger is determined within the captured image data. In one aspect, the trigger may be associated with a desire of the user to hear text read aloud, and the trigger identifies an intermediate portion of the text a distance from a level break in the text. The method includes performing a layout analysis on the text to identify the level break associated with the trigger, and reading aloud text beginning from the level break associated with the trigger.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: OrCam Technologies Ltd.
    Inventors: Yonatan Wexler, Amnon Shashua
  • Patent number: 8805561
    Abstract: An audio user interface is provided in which items are represented in an audio field by corresponding synthesized sound sources from where sounds related to the items appear to emanate. An audio cursor, in the form of a synthesised sound source from which a distinctive cursor sound emanates, is movable in the audio field under user control. Upon the cursor being moved close to an item-representing sound source, a related audible indication is generated by modifying the sounds emanating from at least one of that item-representing sound source and the cursor. In one embodiment, this audible indication also indicates the current distance between the cursor and item-representing sound source and also the direction of the latter from the cursor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2014
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Development Company L.P.
    Inventors: Lawrence Wilcock, Alistair Coles
  • Patent number: 8589067
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for mapping a moving direction by using sounds for people with visual impairments, in which a moving direction can be expressed multi-dimensionally by using sound information and can effectively assist people with visual impairments and the like in navigation tasks. A moving direction of a person carrying a device configured to output sounds is mapped by using a combination of sounds outputted from the device. A plurality of different sound information pieces are stored in association with three or more predetermined directions, respectively, a current position of the moving target device is identified, and then a moving direction of the device is identified. A sound obtained by combining two sounds in a ratio according to the identified moving direction is outputted on the basis of sound information pieces associated respectively with two adjacent directions sandwiching the identified moving direction among the predetermined directions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Chieko Asakawa, Susumu Harada
  • Patent number: 8535236
    Abstract: An apparatus for analyzing a sound signal is based on an ear model for deriving, for a number of inner hair cells, an estimate for a time-varying concentration of transmitter substance inside a cleft between an inner hair cell and an associated auditory nerve from the sound signal so that an estimated inner hair cell cleft contents map over time is obtained. This map is analyzed by means of a pitch analyzer to obtain a pitch line over time, the pitch line indicating a pitch of the sound signal for respective time instants. A rhythm analyzer is operative for analyzing envelopes of estimates for selected inner hair cells, the inner hair cells being selected in accordance with the pitch line, so that segmentation instants are obtained, wherein a segmentation instant indicates an end of the preceding note or a start of a succeeding note. Thus, a human-related and reliable sound signal analysis can be obtained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2013
    Assignee: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Foerderung der Angewandten Forschung E.V.
    Inventors: Thorsten Heinz, Andreas Brueckmann, Juergen Herre
  • Patent number: 8527275
    Abstract: A contextual input device includes a plurality of tactually discernable keys disposed in a predetermined configuration which replicates a particular relationship among a plurality of items associated with a known physical object. The tactually discernable keys are typically labeled with Braille type. The known physical object is typically a collection of related items grouped together by some common relationship. A computer-implemented process determines whether an input signal represents a selection of an item from among a plurality of items or an attribute pertaining to an item among the plurality of items. Once the selected item or attribute pertaining to an item is determined, the computer-implemented process transforms a user's selection from the input signal into an analog audio signal which is then audibly output as human speech with an electro-acoustic transducer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2013
    Assignee: Cal Poly Corporation
    Inventors: Fantin Dennis, C. Arthur MacCarley
  • Publication number: 20130209970
    Abstract: Speech recognition is improved for wearers of hearing aids and other hearing devices by training the speech recognition. A first speech element is acoustically presented, and the element is identified by the person wearing the hearing device. Subsequently, the acoustic presentation of the presented speech element is automatically changed and the aforementioned steps are repeated (S1 to S4) with the changed presentation until a specified maximum number of repetitions is reached if the identification is incorrect. Otherwise, a second speech element is acoustically presented if the identification of the first speech element is correct or if the number of incorrect identifications of the first speech element is greater than the maximum number of repetitions. In this manner, each of a plurality of speech elements can be trained in multiple stages.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 21, 2010
    Publication date: August 15, 2013
    Applicant: SIEMENS MEDICAL INSTRUMENTS PTE. LTD.
    Inventors: Maja Serman, Martina Bellanova
  • Patent number: 8382480
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods for converting data into Braille text and permitting scrolling of a Braille display are provided. Embodiments may include a Braille display configured to present Braille text, a control device configured to allow a user to at least partially control scrolling of the Braille text, communication circuitry configured to transmit and receive data, and a processor that is operably coupled to the Braille display and communication circuitry, wherein the processor is configured to convert at least portions of data received by the communication circuitry into Braille text for presentation by the Braille display. Embodiments may further include a memory for storing Braille text.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Assignee: Verizon Patent and Licensing Inc.
    Inventor: Vittorio Bucchieri
  • Patent number: 8366447
    Abstract: A screen reader software product including a pattern store containing at least one user-definable array of keywords relating to a subject of interest and skim reading module adapted to apply the at least one array of keywords to a target document whereby only portions of the target document matching the at least one array of keywords are output by the screen reader software to an end user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2013
    Assignee: Freedom Scientific, Inc.
    Inventors: Glen Gordon, Joseph K Stephen, Eric Damery, Ralph E Ocampo
  • Patent number: 8342846
    Abstract: A Braille writing device capable of processing information, comprises a motherboard (10) including a plurality of Braille cells (11) arranged in rows and columns, each cell consists of six dot-shaped recesses or pinholes, a sub-board (20) is configured to be inserted into a flute (12) being provided at each of left and right margins of the motherboard and moveable along the flute, a plurality of marks (13) are provided on an outer surface of the flutes (12), and a detent member (30) is formed between each two of the marks (13) in the inner side of the flute (12) and configured to prevent the moveable sub-board from being moved during writing. A Braille information processor (40) is fixed on a concave formed on the backside of the motherboard (10), comprising a circuit board (41), a central processing unit (42), a plurality of Braille trigger switch groups (44) each of which consists of six trigger switches (43), and an infrared transmitter (45).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Shenzhen Wang Ling Science and Technology Development Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yimwai Yau
  • Patent number: 8179235
    Abstract: A tactile input to a system having a speaker located in an enclosure with an audio port can be detected by generating a sound wave in response to a signal and sensing the phase relationship between the current phase and the voltage phase of the signal. While the audio port is open a baseline current and voltage phase difference is established. When the audio port is obstructed by a finger touch, the current and voltage phase difference is altered in response to the obstruction. While the altered phase difference is detected, a tactile event is indicated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2012
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventor: Laurent Le-Faucheur
  • Patent number: 8092221
    Abstract: A speech-generating product for controlling the output of tabular or other composite data in a computer having a screen reader function. The product provides a customized control presentation tool that configures a screen reader to present tabular or other composite data to a user in the order most useful to the user. The tool includes the ability to configure the screen reader independently for both speech and Braille output on a control by control basis. This customized control presentation is saved in permanent storage. Consequently, each time the screen reader is presented with this instance of the control, the screen reader immediately knows how to present it to the user. The software product allows a user to modify the output by the screen reader of the data according to preferences configurable by the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2012
    Assignee: Freedom Scientific, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph Stephen, Eric Damery
  • Publication number: 20110300516
    Abstract: Braille symbols are automatically read aloud, to aid in learning or using Braille. More generally, a tile which bears a tactile symbol and a corresponding visual symbol is placed in a sensing area, automatically distinguished from other tiles, and vocalized. The tile is sensed and distinguished from other tiles based on various signal mechanisms, or by computer vision analysis of the tile's visual symbol. Metadata is associated with the tile. Additional placed tiles are similarly sensed, identified, and vocalized. When multiple tiles are placed in the sensing area, they are vocalized individually, and an audible phrase spelled by their arrangement of tactile symbols is also produced. A lattice is provided with locations for receiving tiles. Metadata are associated with lattice locations. Tile placement is used to control an application program which responds to tile identifications.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 2, 2010
    Publication date: December 8, 2011
    Applicant: MICROSOFT CORPORATION
    Inventors: Daniel Wigdor, Meredith June Morris, Jarrod Lombardo, Annuska Perkins, Sean Hayes, Curtis Douglas Aumiller
  • Publication number: 20110207094
    Abstract: The speech perception of hearing-aid wearers and wearers of other hearing devices is intended to be improved. To this end, a method for training the speech perception of a person, who is wearing a hearing device, is provided, in which a first speech component is presented acoustically and the latter is identified by the person wearing the hearing device. Subsequently, there is automated modification of the acoustic presentation of the presented speech component and the aforementioned steps are repeated with the modified presentation until, if the identification is incorrect, a prescribed maximum number of repetitions has been reached. Otherwise, if the first speech component is identified correctly or if the number of incorrect identifications of the first speech component is one more than the maximum repetition number, a second speech component is presented acoustically. This allows a plurality of speech components to be trained in respectively a number of steps.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 22, 2011
    Publication date: August 25, 2011
    Applicant: SIEMENS MEDICAL INSTRUMENTS PTE. LTD.
    Inventors: Martina Bellanova, Maja Serman
  • Patent number: 7991616
    Abstract: The present invention is a speech synthesizer that generates speech data of text including a fixed part and a variable part, in combination with recorded speech and rule-based synthetic speech. The speech synthesizer is a high-quality one in which recorded speech and synthetic speech are concatenated with the discontinuity of timbres and prosodies not perceived.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2011
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yusuke Fujita, Ryota Kamoshida, Kenji Nagamatsu
  • Publication number: 20110136082
    Abstract: An electronic aid which comprises a device (1) which is configured to record and play back sound clips. The device (1) incorporates a reader (10) which is configured to read identifiers. The device (1) can be used in combination with a data carrier which may be provided with a plurality of different identifiers. A user can record sound clips and associate each sound clip with a corresponding identifier. The device (1) is configured to play back a sound clip when the reader (10) reads the corresponding identifier.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 24, 2009
    Publication date: June 9, 2011
    Inventor: Robene Dutta
  • Publication number: 20100112530
    Abstract: Systems, methods and computer program products for the provision and enabling of multi-language and sign language services in real-time are disclosed. System components include a call processing computer/server that receives requests and is in communication with other system components, a video server/computer for processing and relaying video images, user interface devices for making requests and receiving data transmitted between system components and service provider devices for responding to or satisfying requests received.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 31, 2009
    Publication date: May 6, 2010
    Inventor: Stanley F. Schoenbach
  • Patent number: 7446669
    Abstract: A device for use by a deafblind person is disclosed. The device comprises a first key for manually inputting a series of words in the form of a code, a second key for manually inputting an action to be performed by the device, a third key for manually inputting a user preference, and a fourth key for manually inputting communication instructions. The device further has an internal processor programmed to carry out communication functions and search and guide functions. The device has various safety and security functions for pedestrians or persons in transit. In a preferred embodiment, the device comprises an electronic cane known as an eCane. Also disclosed is a system for allowing a deafblind person to enjoy television programs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2008
    Inventor: Raanan Liebermann
  • Patent number: 7341456
    Abstract: A Braille type device including printed or displayed matter on a medium in combination with printed or displayed Braille type code, preferably machine readable Braille type bar code. The Braille type system includes the combination of the Braille type device and a Braille type-scanning device. The Braille type method includes printing or displaying a Braille type bar code on a medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2008
    Inventors: John B. McAdams, Stephen G. Pinto
  • Patent number: 7325735
    Abstract: A method of operating a reading machine includes receiving an image and receiving an user-initiated command. The reading machine interprets the command to determine the portion of the image to process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2008
    Assignee: K-NFB Reading Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Raymond C. Kurzweil, Paul Albrecht, James Gashel, Lucy Gibson
  • Patent number: 7051292
    Abstract: The present invention provides an information input/output device for visually impaired users whereby the visually impaired users can easily obtain information for the operation and perform the operation without confusion. This device comprise a braille output unit having a plurality of projectable dotted portions and which enables output of a plurality of braille patterns by controlling the projection of the dotted portions, and a recognition means which recognizes that an operation concerning the braille patterns output by the braille output unit is input when the braille output unit is pushed within a predetermined period of time after the braille patterns are output by the braille output unit. When the user inputs an operation concerning the braille patterns, the user pushes the braille unit in which the braille patterns are output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2006
    Assignee: Laurel Precision Machines Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Mitsuhiro Nagase
  • Patent number: 6963656
    Abstract: A method enabling a person to visualize images including encoding spatial information relating to a feature or features contained within an image into the form of one or more musical sequences, and playing the musical sequence or sequences to the person.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2005
    Assignee: University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology
    Inventors: Krishna Chandra Persaud, John Ronald Cronly-Dillon
  • Patent number: 6948937
    Abstract: A portable print reading device includes a high resolution digital camera to which the following additional functions have been added: image centering by tactile or sound information, obtained from the analysis or real time video signals provided by the camera sensor, optical recognition of the characters contained in an image, conversion of recognized text into synthetic speech, conversion of recognized text into Braille, positioning of the reading cursor anywhere inside documents recognized and temporarily stored in the reading device memory: beginning of a page, a paragraph, a line, word search, etc., processing of raw images provided by the camera to allow the transfer of whole images or selected image parts to a tactile graphic array, to allow blind users to apprehend graphic elements of such an image, and control of the camera functions by electrical signals provided by the recognition of commands spoken by the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2005
    Inventors: Oleg B. Tretiakoff, Andrea B. Tretiakoff
  • Patent number: 6889337
    Abstract: A method for repeatable application testing on a computer system for audible output generated by the application in conjunction with a screen reader or similar assistive technology. The method includes recording user inputs to a user application using a test input component. The user inputs are also accessed by a screen reader input component. Outputs of the user application are recorded using a test output component. The outputs of the user application are also accessed by a screen reader output component. The resulting screen reader outputs are recorded and are analyzed with respect to the recorded user inputs and the recorded outputs of the user application. The user inputs to the user application can be keyboard inputs or mouse inputs, and inputs of other input devices. The outputs of the user application can be graphical outputs or alphanumeric outputs for a display of the computer system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2005
    Assignee: Oracle International Corporation
    Inventor: David Yee
  • Patent number: 6755655
    Abstract: An electronic toy appliance for use with interchangeable graspable objects such as blocks or tiles, the toy appliance designed to stimulate the development of a child's mind using audio feedback.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2004
    Assignee: Tinkers & Chance
    Inventors: Brian I. Marcus, Warren S. Heit
  • Patent number: 6739874
    Abstract: An electronic educational toy designed to teach letters, words and numbers and stimulate the development of a child's mind using audio feedback, the educational toy including an enclosure enclosing a processor, a data storage medium and a speaker and having a substantially flat surface, at least a portion of which comprises a work platform on which a child manipulates and places an object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Assignee: Tinkers & Chance
    Inventors: Brian I. Marcus, Warren S. Heit
  • Patent number: 6729881
    Abstract: An electronic toy designed to stimulate the development of a child's mind using audio feedback, the toy comprising an object having a plurality of sides, the object adapted for lateral movement and rotational manipulation by a child on a substantially horizontal surface so that the child can laterally move the object on the substantially horizontal surface and select different sides of the object to face upwardly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Assignee: Tinkers & Chance
    Inventors: Brian I. Marcus, Warren S. Heit
  • Patent number: 6728675
    Abstract: There is provided a user friendly display interface system for the interactive handling and sorting out of windows in complex window hierarchical graphical user interfaces. The system provides for the storage of a hierarchy of windows which are displayable to overlap each other in a selected order whereby a plurality of said windows are partially visible. Apparatus is provided for displaying on a display screen a plurality of these partially overlapping windows. A different audio identifier is provided and stored for each of these windows. Further apparatus is provided for moving around and positioning a pointing device, such as a cursor on the display screen, in combination with means responsive to the pointing device for announcing the audio identifier for each window which said pointing device enters. The pointing device may be a user controlled cursor, a stylus or even a finger in touch sensitive display systems. The audio identifier may conveniently be the name in the title bar of the window.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2004
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporatiion
    Inventors: John Maddalozzo, Jr., Gerald Francis McBrearty, Johnny Meng-Han Shieh
  • Patent number: 6691000
    Abstract: A robot-arm telemanipulating system that presents an operator auditory information converted from a part of information on operating status of the robot arm (hereinafter referred to as “telemetry data”) transmitted from a distant position from the operator, so that a burden imposed on the operator can be alleviated. The telemanipulating system includes a sound source for simulatively generating an operating sound of the robot arm under telemanipulation, capable of variably controlling at least one of key, volume and tone of the operating sound by sound source control data input from outside; a telemetry data analyzing unit for analyzing telemetry data transmitted from the robot arm, and controlling the sound source by generating sound source controlling data corresponding to a load amount applied to the robot arm; and an audio output unit for presenting the operator the operating sound generated by the sound source in a form of auditory information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2004
    Assignee: Communications Research Laboratory, Independent Administrative Institution
    Inventors: Yasufumi Nagai, Shigeru Tsuchiya, Shinichi Kimura
  • Publication number: 20030087218
    Abstract: An interactive adaptive learning system. A collection of core stimuli consisting of at least auditory and visual symbols and information, are stored on a computer. A number of different relationships between the core stimuli are created which can then be presented as discrimination or identification tasks to the user. Different sets of stimuli are then presented succeedingly to the user and the user is requested to respond. The form of response can either be to investigate and analyze the stimuli, or attributes of the stimuli, or answer of the quarry regarding the discrimination or identification task. The system has a built in strategy for progressing the user through learning tasks. The users actions and responses in reaction to the stimuli are all recorded and analyzed. Based not only on the success rate of the user responses, but also on other characteristics of the users reaction to the stimuli, the users learning strategy is classified.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 18, 2002
    Publication date: May 8, 2003
    Inventors: Carolyn J. Brown, Jerry N. Zimmermann
  • Patent number: 6413092
    Abstract: A method and a system is disclosed that provide means to enable individuals with speech, language and reading based communication disabilities, due to a temporal processing problem, to improve their temporal processing abilities as well as their communication abilities. The method and system include provisions to elongate portions of phonemes that have brief and/or rapidly changing acoustic spectra, such as occur in the stop consonants b and d in the phonemes /ba/ and /da/, as well as reduce the duration of the steady state portion of the syllable. In addition, some emphasis is added to the rapidly changing segments of these phonemes. Additionally, the disclosure includes method for and computer software to modify fluent speech to make the modified speech better recognizable by communicatively impaired individuals. Finally, the disclosure includes method for and computer software to train temporal processing abilities, specifically speed and precision of temporal integration, sequencing and serial memory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2002
    Assignees: The Regents of the University of California, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
    Inventors: Paula Anne Tallal, Michael Mathias Merzenich, William Michael Jenkins, Steven Lamont Miller, Christoph E. Schreiner
  • Patent number: 6390820
    Abstract: A system or kit for treating developmental verbal apraxia is provided. The system or kit includes a plurality of picture cards in which each card identifies in written, spelled-out form a selected multi-syllabic word for describing an activity, item or thing with a corresponding drawing or picture which illustrates the activity, item or thing. In addition, each card also includes, in written, spelled-out form, a series of single syllabic words in written, spelled-out form, each word describing an activity, item or thing. Associated with each single syllabic word is preferably a drawing or picture which illustrates the activity, item or thing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2002
    Inventor: Chana Landman
  • Patent number: 6267598
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to an audio sign adapted to provide an aural message once the sign is tactilely actuated. The invention typically includes a graphical information section, a tactile information section, and a self contained audio section configured to provide aural information once tactilely actuated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2001
    Inventors: Robert H. Allen, Jr., Frank Lapietra
  • Patent number: 6206700
    Abstract: An interactive adaptive learning system. A collection of core stimuli consisting of at least auditory and visual symbols and information, are stored on a computer. A number of different relationships between the core stimuli are created which can then be presented as discrimination or identification tasks to the user. Different sets of stimuli are then presented succeedingly to the user and the user is requested to respond. The form of response can either be to investigate and analyze the stimuli, or attributes of the stimuli, or answer of the quarry regarding the discrimination or identification task. The system has a built in strategy for progressing the user through learning tasks. The users actions and responses in reaction to the stimuli are all recorded and analyzed. Based not only on the success rate of the user responses, but also on other characteristics of the users reaction to the stimuli, the users learning strategy is classified.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2001
    Assignee: Breakthrough to Literacy, Inc.
    Inventors: Carolyn J. Brown, Jerry N. Zimmermann
  • Patent number: 6198395
    Abstract: A sensory system and method for a visually impaired user includes an array of laser transmitters for transmitting laser signals in given areas corresponding to each of the laser transmitters. An array of laser sensors are provided for receiving laser signals reflected from objects in the corresponding given areas with each laser sensor corresponding to a respective one of the array of laser transmitters. The time between transmitted and received laser signals of a laser transmitter and the respective laser sensor is indicative of the distance between the user and an object in the corresponding given area. A processor is operable with the laser transmitters and laser sensors to effect scanning of the given areas by the array and to process the transmitted and received signals to determine the distance between the user and an object in the given areas. A feedback system is operable with the processor for generating a feedback signal for each of the laser sensors as a function of the received laser signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2001
    Inventor: Gary E. Sussman
  • Patent number: 6186794
    Abstract: An interactive adaptive learning system. A collection of core stimuli consisting of at least auditory and visual symbols and information, are stored on a computer. A number of different relationships between the core stimuli are created which can then be presented as discrimination or identification tasks to the user. Different sets of stimuli are then presented succeedingly to the user and the user is requested to respond. The form of response can either be to investigate and analyze the stimuli, or attributes of the stimuli, or answer of the quarry regarding the discrimination or identification task. The system has a built in strategy for progressing the user through learning tasks. The users actions and responses in reaction to the stimuli are all recorded and analyzed. Based not only on the success rate of the user responses, but also on other characteristics of the users reaction to the stimuli, the users learning strategy is classified.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 1993
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2001
    Assignee: Breakthrough to Literacy, Inc.
    Inventors: Carolyn J. Brown, Jerry N. Zimmermann
  • Patent number: 6071123
    Abstract: A method and a system is disclosed that provide means to enable individuals with speech, language and reading based communication disabilities, due to a temporal processing problem, to improve their temporal processing abilities as well as their communication abilities. The method and system include provisions to elongate portions of phonemes that have brief and/or rapidly changing acoustic spectra, such as occur in the stop consonants b and d in the phonemes /ba/ and /da/, as well as reduce the duration of the steady state portion of the syllable. In addition, some emphasis is added to the rapidly changing segments of these phonemes. Additionally, the disclosure includes method for and computer software to modify fluent speech to make the modified speech better recognizable by communicatively impaired individuals. Finally, the disclosure includes method for and computer software to train temporal processing abilities, specifically speed and precision of temporal integration, sequencing and serial memory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2000
    Assignees: The Regents of the University of California, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
    Inventors: Paula Anne Tallal, Mathias Merzenich, William Michael Jenkins, Steven Lamont Miller, Christopher E. Schreiner
  • Patent number: 6068485
    Abstract: A computer-operated system for assisting aphasics in communication includes user-controlled means for storing data representing the user's vocalizations during a time interval, means for associating the data stored in each of a plurality of such intervals with an icon, means for ordering a plurality of such icons in a group representing a speech message, and means for generating an audio output from the stored data represented by the icons in the group so as to provide a speech message.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2000
    Assignee: Unisys Corporation
    Inventors: Marcia C. Linebarger, John F. Romania
  • Patent number: 6036496
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for screening an individual's ability to process acoustic events is provided. The invention provides sequences (or trials) of acoustically processed target and distractor phonemes to a subject for identification. The acoustic processing includes amplitude emphasis of selected frequency envelopes, stretching (in the time domain) of selected portions of phonemes, and phase adjustment of selection portions of phonemes relative to a base frequency. After a number of trials, the method of the present invention develops a profile for an individual that indicates whether the individual's ability to process acoustic events is within a normal range, and if not, what processing can provide the individual with optimal hearing. The individual's profile can then be used by a listening or processing device to particularly emphasize, stretch, or otherwise manipulate an audio stream to provide the individual with an optimal chance of distinguishing between similar acoustic events.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2000
    Assignee: Scientific Learning Corporation
    Inventors: Steven L. Miller, Bret E. Peterson, Athanassios Protopapas
  • Patent number: 6033224
    Abstract: A reading machine for a blind or visually impaired person includes a computer system that causes the computer to load a definition file in accordance with the current word whose definition a user desires the reading machine to read aloud, extract from said definition file text corresponding to at least a first definition contained in said file, and synthesize speech corresponding to the extracted text to permit the definition to be read aloud. The reading machine includes a user input device including a user activated button that produces a signal that causes the computer to enter a definition mode to read a definition of current word being spoken by the reading machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2000
    Assignee: Kurzweil Educational Systems
    Inventors: Raymond C. Kurzweil, Firdaus Bhathena, Stephen R. Baum
  • Patent number: 6019607
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for training the sensory perceptual system in a language learning impaired (LLI) subject is provided. The apparatus and method incorporates a number of different programs to be played by the subject. The programs artificially process selected portions of language elements, called phonemes, so they will be more easily distinguished by an LLI subject, and gradually improves the subject's neurological processing of the elements through repetitive stimulation. The programs continually monitor a subject's ability to distinguish the processed language elements, and adaptively configures the programs to challenge and reward the subject by altering the degree of processing. Through adaptive control and repetition of processed speech elements, and presentation of the speech elements in a creative fashion, a subject's temporal processing of acoustic events common to speech are significantly improved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2000
    Inventors: William M. Jenkins, Michael M. Merzenich, Steven Lamont Miller, Bret E. Peterson, Paula Tallal
  • Patent number: 5993217
    Abstract: A learning apparatus for use with a computer comprising a set of tactile flash cards, each individual card having a tactilely perceptible pattern embossed on a surface of the card and two electrically connected contacts at a unique set of discrete spaced positions on the card with a preselected correspondence between the tactilely perceptible pattern on the surface of the card and the selected positions of the contacts, and a tactile flash card reader capable of sensing the positions of the contacts on a card and controlling the computer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Inventor: Albert William Perry
  • Patent number: 5973694
    Abstract: Language oriented information is communicated to and from a user by the use of a computer with a dynamic graphics display, having a pointing device for visually indicating a position through a cursor on the display. Various embodiments of the method include calling an icon to attention when the cursor is positioned on the icon, auto projecting an icon when it is activated, changing the icon image to denote its terminal node status, varying the play back speed of the audio/visual aspect of an icon, moving among different layers of a hierarchical database, and text searching and matching with icons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Assignee: Chatham Telecommunications, Inc.,
    Inventors: Richard D. Steele, Robert F. Gonsalves, Larry J. Leifer
  • Patent number: 5927988
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for training the sensory perceptual system in a language learning impaired (LLI) subject is provided. The apparatus and method incorporates a number of different programs to be played by the subject. The programs artificially process selected portions of language elements, called phonemes, so they will be more easily distinguished by an LLI subject, and gradually improves the subject's neurological processing of the elements through repetitive stimulation. The programs continually monitor a subject's ability to distinguish the processed language elements, and adaptively configures the programs to challenge and reward the subject by altering the degree of processing. Through adaptive control and repetition of processed speech elements, and presentation of the speech elements in a creative fashion, a subject's temporal processing of acoustic events common to speech are significantly improved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 27, 1999
    Inventors: William M. Jenkins, Michael M. Merzenich, Steven Lamont Miller, Bret E. Peterson, Paula Tallal
  • Patent number: 5902112
    Abstract: A braille teaching tool that audibly pronounces each braille character as it is touched by the student is comprised of a touch pad having a rectangular matrix of touch sensitive areas each connected to a processor with memory for identifying each sensitive area of each sheet of braille placed on the touch pad. The processor is coupled to a speech synthesizer for pronouncing the braille character.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 11, 1999
    Inventor: Sally S. Mangold
  • Patent number: 5887069
    Abstract: In continuous sign language recognition, reference sign language patterns of good quality are generated. Continuous sign language patterns and reference sign language patterns are efficiently compressed. The compressed continuous sign language patterns are sequentially and directly matched with the compressed reference sign language patterns to recognize the sign language at high speed and with high precision. A reference sign pattern generating unit generates a reference sign language pattern by normalizing sample patterns while taking into consideration of their nonlinear compression/expansion and by calculating an average of the sample patterns. A continuous sign language recognition unit recognizes a continuous sign language at high speed by sequentially matching the continuous sign language of time sequential patterns with reference sign language patterns while allowing nonlinear expansion and compression in the time domain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 23, 1999
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Sakou, Hirohiko Sagawa, Masahiro Abe, Akira Ichikawa, Kiyoshi Inoue, Kiyoshi Arai, Takanori Shimura, Yuji Toda
  • Patent number: 5868683
    Abstract: A computer-implemented method for predicting, diagnosing and/or treating reading deficit in a human being is disclosed. The method includes generating a set of tonal stimuli, which includes at least a first tonal stimulus and a second tonal stimulus. The first tonal stimulus is separated from the second tonal stimulus by an interval. The computer-implemented method further includes providing the set of tonal stimuli to the human being and receiving a response from the human being. The response from the human being indicates a perception by the human being pertaining to the set of tonal stimuli. Further, the computer-implemented method includes ascertaining a first parameter pertaining to the set of tonal stimuli at which the response is inaccurate. The first parameter is one of a frequency parameter and a time parameter. The first parameter indicates that the human is susceptible to the reading deficit if the first parameter is above a predefined parameter value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1999
    Assignee: Scientific Learning Corporation
    Inventors: Athanassios Protopapas, Michael M. Merzenich, Merav Ahissar
  • Patent number: 5810597
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to an audio sign adapted to provide an aural message once the sign is tactilely actuated. The invention typically includes a graphical information section, a tactile information section, and a self contained audio section configured to provide aural information once tactilely actuated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1998
    Assignee: Robert H. Allen, Jr.
    Inventors: Robert H. Allen, Jr., Frank Lapietra