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Modifications of audio communications in an online environment




Title: Modifications of audio communications in an online environment.
Abstract: A system and method to modify audio communications in an online environment and, in particular, to modifying audio communications using one or more parameters. The system includes a module configured to detect one or more parameters applicable to an incoming audio communication and a weighing engine configured to weigh the one or more parameters and obtain a weighted volume. The system further includes a module configured to transmit the weighted volume to a user participating in a virtual universe. The method determines whether one or more parameters apply to an incoming communication, weighs the incoming communication based on the one or more parameters to determine a weighted volume of the incoming communication, and transmits the incoming communication to a user at the weighted volume. ...


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USPTO Applicaton #: #20120314886
Inventors: Jeffrey D. Amsterdam, Rick A. Hamilton, Ii, Brian M. O'connell, Clifford A. Pickover, Keith R. Walker


The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120314886, Modifications of audio communications in an online environment.

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is a divisional application of copending application Ser. No. 12/211,435 filed on Sep. 16, 2008, the contents of which are incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

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The invention generally relates to a system and method to modify audio communications in an online environment and, in particular, to modifying audio communications using one or more parameters.

BACKGROUND

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OF THE INVENTION

A virtual universe (VU) is an interactive simulated environment accessed by multiple users through an online interface. Users inhabit and interact in the VU via avatars, which are a user's representation of himself or herself. These representations can be in the form of a three-dimensional model, a two-dimensional icon, a text construct, a user screen name, etc. Although there are many different types of VUs, there are several features many VUs generally have in common. These features include, for example, Shared Space: the VU allows many users to participate at once; Graphical User Interface: the VU depicts space visually, ranging in style from 2D “cartoon” imagery to more immersive 3D environments; Immediacy: interaction takes place in real time; Interactivity: the VU allows users to alter, develop, build, or submit customized content; Persistence: the VU's existence continues regardless of whether individual users are logged in; and Socialization/Community: the VU allows and encourages the formation of social groups such as teams, guilds, clubs, cliques, housemates, neighborhoods, etc.

As VUs become more complex and processing power, memory storage, and bandwidth increase, the number of ways in which users can communicate with one another in a VU has increased. For example, instead of relying on textual conversations, users can now audibly speak with one another while participating within a VU. This is particularly convenient during business meetings, lectures, and social gatherings within a VU.

As VUs increase in popularity the number of residents in a virtual location at any given time has increased. Understandably, this increase has resulted in an increase in audio communications. Currently these audio communications are being transmitted within VU regions at the same volume regardless of the source of the communication, how far the audio source is from the user, how many users are speaking at one time, etc. As such, an audio source ten feet away from a user may be heard at the same volume as an audio source two feet away from a user.

SUMMARY

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OF THE INVENTION

In a first aspect of the invention, a system comprises a module configured to detect one or more parameters applicable to an incoming audio communication and a weighing engine configured to weigh the one or more parameters and obtain a weighted volume. The system also comprises a module configured to transmit the weighted volume to a user participating in a virtual universe.

In another aspect of the invention, the method comprises determining whether one or more parameters apply to an incoming communication, weighing the incoming communication based on the one or more parameters to determine a weighted volume of the incoming communication, and transmitting the incoming communication to a user at the weighted volume.

In another aspect of the invention, a computer program product comprising a computer usable medium having readable program code embodied in the medium is provided. The computer program product includes at least one component to: determine an initial volume of an incoming communication; apply one or more parameters to the incoming communication, whereby the one or more parameters are configured to change the initial volume; determine a final volume based on the application of the one or more parameters; and transmit the incoming communication at the final volume.

In yet another aspect of the invention, a method for deploying an application for modifying audio communications, comprises providing a computer infrastructure being operable to: determine an initial volume of an incoming communication; determine a final volume of the incoming communication by adjusting the initial volume according to one or more factors, which are configured to be customized by a virtual universe or a user; and transmit the final volume to the user.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

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The present invention is described in the detailed description which follows, in reference to the noted plurality of drawings by way of non-limiting examples of exemplary embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 1 shows an illustrative environment for implementing the steps in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 shows a flow chart of an exemplary process in accordance with aspects of the invention;

FIG. 3 shows a flow chart of an exemplary process in accordance with aspects of the invention;

FIG. 4 shows an exemplary proximity curve in accordance with aspects of the invention; and

FIG. 5 shows an illustrative example using a proximity curve in accordance with aspects of the invention.




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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120314886 A1
Publish Date
12/13/2012
Document #
File Date
12/31/1969
USPTO Class
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
/
Drawings
0




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International Business Machines Corporation


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Electrical Audio Signal Processing Systems And Devices   Including Amplitude Or Volume Control   Automatic  

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20121213|20120314886|modifications of audio communications in an online environment|A system and method to modify audio communications in an online environment and, in particular, to modifying audio communications using one or more parameters. The system includes a module configured to detect one or more parameters applicable to an incoming audio communication and a weighing engine configured to weigh the |International-Business-Machines-Corporation
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