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Smart Audio Output with Presence Sensors: Enabling mode switching using head sets or ear buds

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000130715D
Publication Date: 2005-Nov-02

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Phil Acker: INVENTOR [+5]

Abstract

One or more presence sensor in the headset (or ear buds) of an audio-outputting system (e.g. mp3 player, phone, laptop, DVD player, video recorder/player or similar system) would enable the system to determine if the headset is worn and that the user desires audio output from the headset. This capability enhances the user experience, makes the interface more intuitive, and potentially saves energy and extends battery life. The sensor can be one that senses any combination of capacitance, temperature, pressure, optical patterns, acceleration, tilt, or any other appropriate indicia of presence. Additional sensors may also be added to increase reliability or accuracy. Sensors can be also put elsewhere in the system in addition (or in place of) the sensor in the headset. A wide variety of methods and technology can be used to determine dynamically what output mode users of media or phone devices with headsets (or ear buds) may desire to enable these devices to switch among the modes in an intuitive and user-friendly manner. For example, the device may switch between mode combinations such as: (1) play-pause, (2) loud-soft volume, (3) not muted-muted, (4) phone-music-mute, (5) play-record, and (6) on-off for a wireless headset. Manually switching among the modes is always an option, but automating mode switching enhances user experience. Technology that may be used to automate such switching include those that sense (1) capacitance – absolute or trans, (2) resistance – AC or DC, (3) IR – with emitter/receiver, (4) ultrasound, (5) temperature, (6) acceleration, (7) mechanical contact, (8) pressure, (9) force, (10) mechanical impedance, (11) history of headset operation, and (12) surface acoustic wave. There are alternate uses of this invention as well. For example, a hearing aid that uses a capacitive proximity sensor can sense when the hearing aid is in the ear canal and, using this information from the presence sensor, turn on when it is inside the ear. This extends battery life and prevents unwanted feedback.

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Smart Audio Output with Presence Sensors in the Headset

Smart Audio Output with Presence Sensors:

Enabling mode switching using head sets or ear buds

1. Inventor(s): Phil Acker, Wendy Cheng, John Feland III, Thuy Le, Richard (Bic) Schediwy

2. Synaptics Incorporated, San Jose, CA, USA

3. Short Summary

One or more presence sensor in the headset (or ear buds) of an audio-outputting system (e.g. mp3 player, phone, laptop, DVD player, video recorder/player or similar system) would enable the system to determine if the headset is worn and that the user desires audio output from the headset. This capability enhances the user experience, makes the interface more intuitive, and potentially saves energy and extends battery life. The sensor can be one that senses any combination of capacitance, temperature, pressure, optical patterns, acceleration, tilt, or any other appropriate indicia of presence. Additional sensors may also be added to increase reliability or accuracy. Sensors can be also put elsewhere in the system in addition (or in place of) the sensor in the headset.

Figure 1. Presence sensors in the headset enables the audio system to determine how and where to output audio

A wide variety of methods and technology can be used to determine dynamically what output mode users of media or phone devices with headsets (or ear buds) may desire to enable these devices to switch among the modes in an intuitive and user-friendly manner. For example, the device may switch between mode combinations such as: (1) play-pause, (2) loud-soft volume, (3) not muted-muted, (4) phone- music-mute, (5) play-record, and (6) on-off for a wireless headset. Manually switching among the modes is always an option, but automating mode switching enhances user experience. Technology that may be used to automate such switching include those that sense (1) capacitance - absolute or trans, (2)

Proximity

Sensors

Copyright © 2005 Synaptics Incorporated, All Rights Reserved. Page: 1 of 10

Information contained in this publication is provided as-is, with no express or implied warranties, including any warranty of merchantability, fitness for any particular purpose, or non-infringement. Synaptics Incorporated assumes no liability whatsoever for any use of the information contained herein, including any liability for intellectual property infringement. This publication conveys no express or implied licenses to any intellectual property rights belonging to Synaptics or any other party. Synaptics may, from time to time and at its sole option, update the information contained herein without notice.

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Smart Audio Output with Presence Sensors in the Headset

resistance - AC or DC, (3) IR - with emitter/receiver, (4) ultrasound, (5) temperature, (6) acceleration,
(7) mechanical contact, (8) pressure, (9) force, (10) mechanical impedance, (11) history of headset operation, and (12) surface acoustic wave.

There ar...