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Patexia Research
Patent No. US 11381907
Issue Date Jul 5, 2022
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Patent 11381907 - Microphone array system > Claims

  • 1. A microphone array system mountable on or in a ceiling of a conference room, the microphone array system comprising: a chassis comprising a front board and side walls, the front board comprising an upper side and a lower side and the side walls extending on the upper side of the front board;a plurality of microphone capsules arranged inside the chassis, wherein the microphone capsules are adapted for acquiring sound coming from below the microphone array system when mounted on or in a ceiling of a conference room; anda processing unit configured to receive output signals of the microphone capsules and to execute audio beam forming based on the received output signals of the microphone capsules for predominantly acquiring sound coming from an audio source in a first direction;wherein the microphone array system comprises or is mounted to a laterally protruding support frame;wherein the microphone array system is adapted for being mounted in a drop ceiling that is fixed to a ceiling of a conference room by support beams; andwherein the laterally protruding support frame is adapted for resting on said support beams such that the side walls of the microphone array system partially protrude from the drop ceiling and the front board and the plurality of microphone capsules are below the drop ceiling.
    • 2. The microphone array system according to claim 1, wherein the support beams form a regular grid adapted for carrying a plurality of essentially square ceiling tiles, and wherein the microphone array system has essentially the same size as of one of said ceiling tiles and is adapted for being mounted between said support beams of the drop ceiling.
    • 3. The microphone array system according to claim 1, wherein the support beams are T-shaped.
    • 4. The microphone array system according to claim 1, wherein rubber feet are located between the support beams and the support frame of the microphone array system, the rubber feet being suitable for reducing structure-borne noise transmitted via the ceiling or the drop ceiling.
    • 5. The microphone array system according to claim 1, further comprising a back plate mounted on the side walls, wherein the plurality of microphone capsules, the side walls and optionally at least a part of the processing unit are arranged between the front board and the back plate.
    • 6. The microphone array system according to claim 1, wherein a distance or height difference between the drop ceiling and the front board of the microphone array when mounted in the drop ceiling is less than a height of the side walls.
    • 7. The microphone array system according to claim 1, wherein the support frame is mounted on the side walls or on a back plate that is mounted on the side walls.
    • 8. The microphone array system according to claim 1, wherein the support frame has a height that is less than a height of the chassis and a side length that is larger than a side length of the front board of the microphone array system.
    • 9. The microphone array system according to claim 1, wherein the support frame has a height that is substantially equal to a height of the chassis and a side length that is larger than a side length of the front board of the microphone array system.
    • 10. The microphone array system according to claim 1, further comprising security connectors adapted for being mounted on the ceiling, wherein the security connectors are adapted for preventing accidental drops of the microphone array system.
      • 11. The microphone array system according to claim 10, wherein the security connectors are unstressed in a regular configuration.
    • 12. The microphone array system according to claim 1, wherein the processing unit comprises a filter and an interface, wherein the filter is adapted for filtering audio signals acquired by the microphone capsules, and wherein the interface is adapted for receiving mounting configuration information and for modifying the filter according to the received mounting configuration information.
    • 13. The microphone array system according to claim 1, wherein the processing unit comprises a direction recognition unit, a delay control unit receiving input from the direction recognition unit, and for each of the output signals of the microphone capsules a delay unit receiving input from the delay control unit, wherein the direction recognition unit is configured to compute from the output signals of said microphone capsules a score for each of a plurality of spatial positions and use a spatial position having a highest score to identify said first direction, andwherein the delay control unit calculates individual delay values for each of the delay units according to said first direction.
      • 14. The microphone array system according to claim 13, wherein the spatial positions are positions on a search grid.
        • 15. The microphone array system according to claim 14, wherein the direction recognition unit uses said search grid position having a highest score to identify said first direction only if said highest score is above a predefined threshold, and otherwise maintains a previously determined direction.
      • 16. The microphone array system according to claim 13, wherein the direction recognition unit detects said direction based on the output signals of a subset of the microphone capsules of the microphone array system, and the audio beam forming is based on the output signals of all the microphone capsules of the microphone array system.
      • 17. The microphone array system according to claim 13, wherein the direction recognition unit is configured to periodically re-compute the scores for the spatial positions of the search grid and further to re-identify a search grid position having a highest score and to re-adjust the audio beam forming accordingly.
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