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Method and System for Providing Positional/Directional Audio for Heavy Equipment through Positioning-aware Hearing Protection Headsets

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000236544D
Publication Date: 2014-May-02
Document File: 4 page(s) / 124K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A method and system is disclosed for providing positional/directional audio for heavy equipment through positioning-aware hearing protection headsets.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 50% of the total text.

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Method and System for Providing Positional/Directional Audio for Heavy Equipment through Positioning-aware Hearing Protection Headsets

Hearing protection is important in many industries such as, but not limited to, construction or shipping, to prevent permanent hearing loss. Hearing protection also actively works against other safety mechanisms such as alarms, warning signals and

announcements. When working around heavy equipment such as fork lifts, trucks, cranes, and bulldozers, an individual is required to be aware of positions and movement of machines. Lack of awareness can cause injury and can be potentially fatal. Most heavy equipment makes noise or alarm while in use. However, hearing protection reduces effectiveness of noise of machines and increases probability of harm. Currently used hearing protection includes ear plugs which block all noise and headsets which block all noise except radio communications. Currently used hearing protection can block engine noises and alarms which comes from heavy equipment. The individual can be less aware of positions and movements of the machines.

Disclosed is a method and system for providing positional/directional audio for heavy equipment through positioning-aware hearing protection headsets. The method and system provides an audio module that is integrated with basic audio signal systems of a machine. The audio module interacts with directional/positional enabled headsets. The audio module includes a position-sensor, a direction-sensor, and a radio transmitter. The position-sensor can be a Global Positioning System (GPS) and the direction-sensor can be a compass.

When heavy equipment makes a signal to indicate that the heavy equipment is in-use and moving, the heavy equipment simultaneously transmits a signal to headsets. Based on the signal, the headsets adjust the volume of the signal noise depending on the relative distance of a machine of the heavy equipment. If the machine is closer to the headset, then the signal noise is louder and if the machine farther then the signal noise is quieter. With surround sound features, the headset can also adjust the signal noise based on the relative direction of the source.

In a scenario, people in an area of a fork-lift are wearing the position/direction enabled headsets. The fork-lift is heavy machinery

which occasionally makes signal noises when the fork-lift moves. The position/direction enabled headsets are hearing protection headsets with position and direction capabilities. When a radio communication is received, volume of the radio communication is adjusted based on the position of a speaker to indicate distance. If the speaker is close, the volume is louder and if the speaker
is further away, the volume is quieter. With stereo and surround sound headsets, the audio can also be adjusted to indicate position of the source. The method and system provides an audio module that is connected to the signaling system of the fork-lift. The con...