Web Services Polling to Update Sound Masking System
Publication Date: 2014-Jun-04
The IP.com Prior Art Database
AbstractThis invention utilizes data from pre-existing corporate business systems rather than hardware to adjust masking levels.
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1. Title of Invention
Web services polling to update sound masking system
Improve productivity by masking disruptive noise.
3. Field of the Invention
Sound masking, cloud integration, contextual intelligence
A trend in corporate architecture is the open office layout. In essence, businesses concentrate employees in a large room, which is intended to promote teamwork and collaboration.
The problem with this approach, of course, is that having people in close proximity means that those same people become distracted by conversations that don't involve them. From phone calls to office chatter, it's hard to concentrate when people are talking.
Most specifically, it is not that there is ambient noise, but that there are conversations nearby that are intellectually interesting but unrelated to the task that an associate is currently trying to complete. When nearby conversations can be heard and words or sentences can be understood, this causes a disruption in the thought process making it easier to lose focus and reduces productivity.
5. Previous Solutions:
One of the more subtle aspects of sound masking is that we believe that the best sound masking takes place with the least amount of amplified sound - meaning, one of the attributes of a good sound masking system is that it is not annoyingly loud or obvious (distracting).
6. Description of the Invention:
This invention utilizes data from pre-existing corporate business systems rather than hardware to adjust masking levels.
The simplest example of this is to create a system that uses Microsoft Lync (or competitor) status to input into a sound masking system. One must assume the pre-
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condition that employees of an organization are required to leverage this communication tool, and that it is known who sits in the open area.
Here are the common Lync statuses:
- Available - moved mouse or typed with keyboard within the last 5 minutes. For the sake of this invention, assume that this means that this person is working quietly.
- Inactive - no input received by computer between 5-10 minutes. For the sake of this invention, this would be considered a noisy condition. They may have gotten for a break, are having a conversation with a nearby associate, or similar.
- Away - no input received by computer for more than 10 minutes. Assume this is a quiet time. Perhaps a break or a more involved conversation that has taken them away from their desk.
- In a meeting - aligned with Outlook meeting, but the user has not joined via Lync. (This is likely a quiet time as user is away from desk and in a meeting room).
- In a conference call - The user is taking a call from her computer. This is likely a loud time.