Voice Tracker Is an Alternative to Headsets for VoIP Conferencing

SUDBURY, MA - The Voice Tracker farfield array microphone is being used by customers of Centra Software (NASDAQ: CTRA), a provider of application software and services for real-time enterprise collaboration (RTEC), to replace headsets and facilitate more comfortable VoIP conferencing & collaboration. "Centra has tested the Voice Tracker tm and it works well," said John Walsh, Vice President of Product Development for Centra Software. "It can be an effective alternative for certain people that don't want to use a headset, or for companies that want to have a group of people together in a room participating in a live, online conference or meeting, without using headsets." According to Bob Feingold, Founder of Acoustic Magic Inc., The Voice Tracker is effective in VoIP conferencing for two reasons. First, the Voice Tracker's spatial filtering and wide field of view enables long- range pickup, covering large conference rooms. Second, its Location Dependant Squelch feature eliminates the echo to the far end that normally occurs with conventional far field microphones. Enclosed in a charcoal gray casing, the Voice Tracker fits under a computer monitor, or on a shelf or table. Its technology locates a talker, and electronically steers a "listening beam", like an acoustic searchlight, in that direction. This creates spatial filtering; sounds from other parts of the room are not picked up. This noise reduction, coupled with increased sensitivity since the Voice Tracker's eight microphone elements are utilized continuously and constructively, give the Voice Tracker range and sound quality. Since the Voice Tracker knows the location of the talker, its processor can be instructed to ignore sounds coming from outside a specified Field of View. In the LDS mode, the Voice Tracker detects pauses in the conversation and turns off the microphone. The Voice Trackertm will turn on again as soon as it hears sounds from within the field of view. If the speakers are placed to the side of the microphone (as they normally are), sounds from the speakers will be outside the Field of View and will not turn on the microphone. Therefore the microphone does not pick up the talker from the other end of the line, and there is no echo. The Voice Tracker can steer from one talker to the next in a few milliseconds. The Voice Tracker can be connected to a PC through the sound card, or through the USB port (with an optional USB adapter).
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