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Individualized Audio Compression

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238217D
Publication Date: 2014-Aug-10
Document File: 4 page(s) / 107K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for using an individual psychoacoustic profile during audio data compression in order to reduce the data rate, increase perceived audio quality, or both.

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Title 

Individualized Audio Compression

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for using an individual psychoacoustic profile during audio data compression in order to reduce the data rate, increase perceived audio quality, or both.

Problem Addressed 

Transmitting audio to a fully-implanted implant requires the receiving implant to spend power in order to receive the data.  More power is required for higher data rates.  This is especially true if the audio data is sent using wireless radio instead of an inductive link.  In a fully-implanted implant, power typically comes from a low-capacity battery; therefore, reducing the data rate is critical.

Sound typically comes from a microphone, but can come from another device such as a music player, cell phone, etc.  It is then sampled and thus transformed into digital audio data. 

Figure 1: Simplified block diagram of an external audio transmitter.  This may be a subsystem of a bigger device.

The data is compressed using a known compression method.  The radio transmitter then sends the compressed audio data, and the implant receives it.  (Figure 2)

Figure 2: Implant

The radio receiver in the implant is where power is the concern.  The radio receiver in an implant is often the dominant power consumer.  The received compressed data is fed to a decompression stage.

Multiple factors come into play to determine the power consumption of a radio receiver, and the data rate of the transmitted signal is one.  Hence, the role of data compression is critical.  However, the decompression itself may use a significant amount of power, depending on the algorithm.

The immediate solution to the problem of reducing the power consumption of wireless audio transmission is to use audio compression, such as lossless or lossy, to reduce the data rate.  Lossless algorithms enable recovery of the exact original audio after decompression, and are usually reserved to high–fidelity audio uses.  Lossy audio compression discards some information following standard psychoacoustic models as a means of reducing the amount of data, and thus the data rate. 

As information is discarded, the data rate decreases; however, this also decreases the audio quality, which is undesirable.  Thus, the method must carefully select information for discard. 

Novelty Statement

The solution is to derive and apply an individualized psychoacoustic profile.  The novel method obtains information about the patient’s specific hearing condition.  This information allows the audio compression system to retain only relevant information (i.e.  relevant to the patient) in the compressed audio output.

This provides a better perceived audio quality versus data rate.  The method obtains a balance because information irrelevant to the patient is not retained.  This results in either better audio quality, lower data rate, or both.

Description (Components, Process)

The novel method exploits what is known and specific about the deficient hearing of...