Product: Array Microphone
Company: Storm Interface
Storm Interface, a manufacturer of keypads, keyboards and custom computer interface devices, created Array Microphone, a line of assistive technology devices designed for self-attended POS environments. Merchants and service providers can confidently deploy these microphones in public and concierge service environments because they fully comply with security and privacy regulations, according to Peter Jarvis, senior executive vice president at Storm Interface.
"It is our objective to provide high-fidelity voice reception within a strictly limited field of reception designated as the Addressable Zone," Jarvis said. "[Storm Interface's] beam focusing technology limits voice reception or voice recording to the zone immediately in front of the terminal. Only when that zone is occupied by an informed, and microphone-aware, terminal user will the microphone be activated."
Jarvis noted that microphone manufacturers strive to achieve ever wider fields and range of voice reception, but current privacy and security regulations require voice recognition guidelines to be followed in public environments. With growing demand for self-attended terminals equipped with voice recording, voice recognition and speech command features, merchants and third-party service providers must ensure that their devices are fully compliant with government guidelines, he stated.
Compliant voice-enabled microphones must have clearly defined fields of reception as well as confirming the presence of an active user, Jarvis stated. Storm Interface addresses these requirements by automatically muting beam-focused microphones when no one is present in an addressable zone. This prevents the system from interpreting background noise as a voice command at the POS, he noted.
For example, if a beam-focused microphone defaults to mute mode at a drive-through food ordering point, the system will not have to continuously listen for a valid food order or need to differentiate between traffic noise, barking dogs and human voices, Jarvis stated. When activated, the devices, which are designed to survive in exposed or public environments, can distinguish valid voice commands by using the Mic Activation Sensor in combination with Storm's beam focused Far Field Voice Array Microphone, he added.
In addition to the need for publicly deployed microphones to default to mute or become closed when not in use, they must stand out when they are actively recording, Jarvis noted, adding that this enables anyone within recording range to be aware that the microphones are in use.
"The Storm ATP Microphone Activation Sensor uses a highly visible and tactile microphone icon to indicate the presence of an active recording system," Jarvis said. "The device also includes an infrared (IR) proximity sensor that can be used to activate a microphone for Speech Recording or Voice Commanded applications." Some additional ways to indicate live and active microphones are illuminating the microphones with a bright white light or using an audio tone or recorded message that can be triggered when the mic is activated, Jarvis stated. Users can respond by pressing a key or tapping a screen to confirm that they will be using the microphone at the POS.
Storm Interface has been manufacturing intelligent device interfaces for more than 30 years and deploys to more than 60 countries, Jarvis noted. Array microphones are available in the following configurations:
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