Browse Prior Art Database

Audio Response Terminal

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000042094D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-03
Document File: 3 page(s) / 38K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Golding, VG: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This article describes an on-line computer terminal for data/text entry using a speech synthesizer. On-line data/text entry terminals have traditionally either a keyboard with a printer attached to provide computer messages to the operator or, more recently, visual display units, such as the IBM 3278 to provide text and status information to the operator. Both techniques suffer from the drawback that the operator has to read the input data document and any reference to the screen or printer requires the operator's visual attention to be shifted from the source document. Similarly the printer and visual display unit (VDU) are both bulky items which have to be positioned very close to the operator and hence occupy valuable working space though only generally used in error situations.

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Audio Response Terminal

This article describes an on-line computer terminal for data/text entry using a speech synthesizer. On-line data/text entry terminals have traditionally either a keyboard with a printer attached to provide computer messages to the operator or, more recently, visual display units, such as the IBM 3278 to provide text and status information to the operator. Both techniques suffer from the drawback that the operator has to read the input data document and any reference to the screen or printer requires the operator's visual attention to be shifted from the source document. Similarly the printer and visual display unit (VDU) are both bulky items which have to be positioned very close to the operator and hence occupy valuable working space though only generally used in error situations. This article describes a terminal which uses the addition of a speech synthesizer feature, to an existing VDU terminal to allow existing data/text entry programs to operate with little or no change. The terminal then allows the operator options of using a visual image or audible messages. For many applications only the audible response will be required, while for others audible response will be normal mode. The visual display will be useful in correction or searches for data. The drawing shows: 1. A data buffer which may be loaded, read or modified by the host computer and, in operation, contains a mixture of data fields set by the host as editing controls, field descriptors, skip commands, etc., for example, a 3270 data stream, and also a number of data characters entered under control by the operator from the keyboard as required by the data stream commands. The output of the data buffer may be displayed on a CRT or other visual display device to allow the operator to monitor the buffer contents, for example, a 3278.
2. A message buffer which is loaded by the host computer with a string of alphanumeric characters representing spoken commands to the operator and, optionally, a number of editing commands to a terminal control system. 3. A speech synthesizer which will accept alpha, special, or numeric character codes from the data buffer or the message buffer and reproduce a digit, character, word, phrase, sentence or tone to the operator when initiated by the control circuitry. 4. Mode keys which are additional to the normal data/entry or typewriter keyboard and control such audio functions as keyboard character echo, short form or full prompts between fields, type of edit function to be implemented, etc. Mode keys also determine how messages in the message buffer are accessed. There are the following principle ways for initiating and accessing an audible output: (a) Depression of a keyboard function key causes the name of that function to be audible. (b) A change of host status is communicated directly to the operator. (c) Leaving a data entry field in the data buffer. (d) Recognition of a data editing check performed by the co...