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Telecommunications system and method

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Telecommunications system and method


A telecommunications system includes switching circuitry for coupling a call to a extension coupled to the system, voice processing circuitry for automatically interacting with the call, a microprocessor, a first data bus connected, between the microprocessor and the switching circuitry, and a second data bus connected between the microprocessor and the voice processing circuitry. In the telecommunications system, a method includes coupling, with the switching circuitry, a call to a telecommunications extension coupled to the system, and the voice processing circuitry automatically interacting with the call when the telecommunications extension does not answer the call.
Related Terms: Communications Telecommunications Data Bus Telecommunication Microprocessor

USPTO Applicaton #: #20140029736 - Class: 379 8822 (USPTO) -
Telephonic Communications > Audio Message Storage, Retrieval, Or Synthesis >Message Management

Inventors: Harold E.a. Hansen, Ii, Eric G. Suder

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20140029736, Telecommunications system and method.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 13/487,762, which issued as U.S. Pat. No. 8,538,002 on Sep. 17, 2013. which is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 12/200,330, which issued as U.S. Pat. No. 8,194,845, which is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/805,395, which issued as U.S. Pat. No. 7,421,066, which is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 08/873,215, which issued as U.S. Pat. No. 6,252,944, and which was reissued as RE39,722, which claims benefit of priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/023,749, filed Jun. 12, 1996.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates in general to a telecommunications system.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 13, there is illustrated a prior art technique for combining telephone and voice mail systems. The dilemma is how to provide communication between the switching system (“PBX”) 200 and the voice mail (“VM”) system 201. Communication with the PBX 200 is typically done through either the CO lines or on the station (extension) side. Since CO lines are more of a precious resource than the station connections, the prior art system shown in FIG. 2 communicates between the voice mail system 201 and the PBX 200 on the station side using connection 202. Connection 202 may be an analog telephone line or via an EKT (electronic key telephone) integrated connection. Alternatively, a proprietary EKT line 204 may be coupled to an analog telephone adapter 205, which uses analog line 203 to couple to voice mail system 201.

Such systems are typically configured by programming the PBX 200 to perform a transfer to an extension that is connected to the voice mail system 201 upon one or more occurrences, such as when the outside call received by the PBX 200 intended for a particular extension receives a busy signal or the extension rings a certain number of times. At this point in time, the call resides within the PBX 200 (step 1301). Next, the PBX 200 transfers the call using a flash-hook and then dialing the extension number (step 1302) pertaining to the voice mail system 201 in order to transfer the call to the voice mail system 201. At this point in time, the call cow resides within the voice mail system 201, which may play a greeting to the incoming call (step 1303). In response to the greeting played by the voice mail system 201, the call may send a signal, which is detected by the voice mail system 201 (step 1304). Thereafter, die voice mail system may record a message received from the call (the incoming call resides in the voice mail system 201; step 1306), or the voice mail system 201 may transfer the call to a desired destination, such as a station extension (the incoming call is now resident within the telephone system 200; step 1305). In-band signaling, a serial connection, etc. may he added to farther improve the system, but it is still configured as two separate systems—a PBX 200 coupled to a separate voice mail system 201.

Another prior art system not shown herein is the use of a personal computer with a voice adapter card inserted therein for interconnecting to a switching system. Again, the same problems arise, since there is a separate voice mail system coupled to a telephone system where software in the personal computer operates the voice mail portion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates, in block diagram form, components of embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a prior art system coupling a switching system and a voice mail system;

FIG. 3 illustrates, in block diagram form, components of a port card implemented within embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 4 illustrates a flow diagram of a process for recording an incoming call;

FIG. 5 illustrates a flow diagram of a process for implementing a beep timer;

FIG. 6 illustrates a flow diagram for terminating a recording;

FIGS. 7A-7D illustrate a flow diagram implementing interactive help;

FIG. 8 illustrates a flow diagram for implementing context sensitive help;

FIG. 9 illustrates a flow diagram implementing real-time call screening;

FIG. 10 illustrates functions implemented within a signal processing circuit within embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 11 illustrates an electronic key telephone interface;

FIG. 12 illustrates a loop start CO interface;

FIG. 13 illustrates a prior an process for call processing;

FIG. 14 illustrates an EKT;

FIG. 15 illustrates a process for implementing an auto attendant within embodiments of the present invention; and

FIGS. 16-17 illustrate processes for implementing Quick Groups.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In the following description, numerous technical details are set forth such as specific word length and specific hardware interfaces, etc. to provide a thorough understanding of embodiments of the present invention. However, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that embodiments of the present invention may be practiced without such specific details. In other instances, well-known circuits have been shown m block diagram form in order not to obscure embodiments of the present invention in unnecessary detail For the most part, details concerning timing considerations and the like have been omitted inasmuch as such details are not necessary to obtain a complete understanding of embodiments of the present invention and are within the skills of persons of ordinary skill in the relevant art.

The use of the word “a” or “air” when used in conjunction with the term “comprising” in the claims and/or the specification may mean “one,” but it is also consistent with the meaning of “one or more, ”“at least one,” and “one or more than one.” The use of the term “or” in the claims is used to mean “and/or” unless explicitly indicated to refer to alternatives only or the alternatives are mutually exclusive, although the disclosure supports a definition that refers to only alternatives and “and/or.” Throughout this application, the terms “about” or “approximately” are used to indicate that a value includes the inherent variation of error for the device, the method being employed to determine the value, or the variation that exists among the study subjects.

As used in this specification and claim(s), the words “comprising” (and any form of comprising, such as “comprise” and “comprises”), “having” (and any form of having, such as “have” and “has”), “including” (and any form of including, such as “includes” and “include”), and “containing” (and any form of containing, such as “contains” and “contain”) are inclusive or open-ended and do not exclude additional, unrecited elements or method steps.

The term “or combinations thereof” as used, herein refers to all permutations and combinations of the listed items preceding the term. For example, “A, B, C, or combinations thereof” is intended to include at least one of: A, B, C, AB, AC, BC, or ABC, and if order is important in a particular context, also BA, CA, CB, CBA, BCA, ACB, BAC, or CAB. Continuing with this example, expressly included are combinations that contain repeats of one or more item or term, such as BB, AAA, MB, BBC, AAABCCCC, CBBAAA, CABABB, and so forth. The skilled artisan will understand that typically there is no limit on the number of items or terms in any combination, unless otherwise apparent from the context.

While the hardware and methods of this invention have been described in terms of described embodiments, it will be apparent to those of skill in the art that variations may be applied to the hardware and/or methods and in the steps or in the sequence of steps of the methods described herein without departing from the concept, spirit, and scope of the invention.

Refer now to the drawings wherein depicted elements are not necessarily shown to scale and wherein like or similar elements are designated by the same reference numeral through the several views.

Referring to FIG. 1, there is illustrated, in block diagram form, system 100 for integrating call processing and voice processing using a single processing means, which in this example is a microprocessor 101. Microprocessor 101, which may be a Motorola 68000 class microprocessor, communicates with hard disk 107 using driver circuitry 108. Hard disk 107 may store program data, voice prompts, voice mail messages, and all other types of speech used within system 100.

Microprocessor 101 may also include a watchdog timer 109 and real-time clock source 110.

Microprocessor 101 may be coupled via bus 105 to flash memory 111 and dynamic random access memory (“DRAM”) 112. Flash memory 111 may be used to store bootstrap data for use during power up of system 100. DRAM 112 may store a program accessed by microprocessor 101 during operation of system 100.

Bus 105 also couples microprocessor 101 to signal processing circuitry, which may be a digital signal processor (“DSP”) 102. Digital signal processor (“DSP”) 102 may implement a number of functions traditionally implemented by discrete analog components.

Referring next to FIG. 10, there are illustrated some functions that may be

implemented in DSP 102. DTMF receivers 1001 may be implemented using frequency domain filtering techniques. DTMF receivers 1001 may detect standard DTMF (touch-tone) signals or digits.

Automatic gain control (“AGC”) 1002 may be a closed-loop gain control system, which normalizes received audio levels during recording.

Recording buffers 1003, which are coupled to AGC 1002, may receive and store speech samples after they have passed through AGC block 1002. These speech samples may be converted to μ-law PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) and double buffered (several samples per buffer). Microprocessor 101 may copy the record data out of DSP buffers 1003 into RAM buffers (not shown), which may be located in the microprocessor 101 data RAM area.

Fax tone detector 1004 may be implemented using frequency domain filtering techniques. Fax tone detector 1004 may detect a standard 1100 Hz FAX CNG tone (also referred to as the Calling Tone).

Caller ID modems 1005 may be 1200 band FSK modems similar to Bell 202-type modems. Caller ID modems 1005 may be implemented as a frequency discriminator where a time delayed (e.g., quadrature) signal is multiplied by the original signal, low pass filtered, then sliced, which produce the square wave caller ID data stream.

Call processing tone generators 3007 may be free running oscillators, which generate the appropriate tones (and tone pairs) that make up industry standard call processing tones. These tones may include dial tone, busy/reorder tone, ring back tone, single frequency (440 Hz) tone, and DTMF dialer tones.

Play buffers 1008 may replay data from hard disk 107 through microprocessor 101 and place this play data in buffers 1008. This data may be converted from an 8-bit μ-law PCM signal to 14-bit linear data.

Conference bridges 1006 may allow multiple conference bridges to mix together conferees into a multi-party conference. These conferees may be a mixture of inside and outside parties. A combination of “loudest speaker” and “summing” may be utilized.

DSP 102 may communicate with microprocessor 101 via a host interface port (“HIP”) via bus 105. The HIP link may support a command-based protocol which may be used to directly read or write DSP memory locations. DSP 102 may be a RAM-based part and may have its program downloaded from microprocessor 101. Once downloaded and running, microprocessor 101 (the host) may poll, for events or receive interrupts indicating that data is available. DSP 102 speech connections may be made over an industry standard 32-time slot, 2.048 megabits per second. (Mb/s) digital serial link 124. Link 124 may occupy one of the digital highways implemented by digital cross-point matrix 103. Each service of DSP 102 may occupy a single time slot. For example, DTMF receiver 1001 may occupy time slot 0 while conference bridge circuit 12 may occupy time slot 31.

Digital cross-point matrix 103 may also be coupled to bus 105 and operate to connect any voice path to any other voice path. Digital cross-point matrix 103 may be a VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) integrated circuit. An example of digital cross-point matrix 103 is manufactured by MITEL Semiconductor Corporation as part No. 8980. Digital cross-point matrix 103 may communicate with microprocessor 101 via a memory mapped input/output (“I/O”) scheme. A command/control protocol may be used for communication between microprocessor 101 and digital cross-point matrix 103 via bus 105. Cross-point matrix 103 may be coupled by highway 124 to DSP 102. Cross-point matrix 103 may be coupled by connection 325 to highway 121. Cross-point matrix 103 may also be coupled to peripheral cards by highways 122 and 123. The peripheral cards are described in further detail below with respect to FIG. 3.

Connections 121-125 are also referred to herein as “highways,” which may be transmission links using time-division multiplexing (“TDM”) as a means for transmitting and receiving data.

Digital cross-point matrix 103 may be capable of making 256 simultaneous fully non-blocking connections within system 100. However, system 100 may be upgraded by adding additional DSPs and/or cross-point matrices.

Cross-point matrix 103 may make connections using the TDM highway by receiving instructions from microprocessor 1.01 to interconnect channels within the frames of the TDM bit stream. This results in the non-blocking capability of cross-point matrix 103, and also allows for a single voice resource, caller, or voice message to be simultaneously coupled to multiple other voice resources, station or CO originated callers, and/or voice messages.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20140029736 A1
Publish Date
01/30/2014
Document #
14028274
File Date
09/16/2013
USPTO Class
379 8822
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
04M3/533
Drawings
18


Communications
Telecommunications
Data Bus
Telecommunication
Microprocessor


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