Patent Number: 7,088,828

Title: Methods and apparatus for providing privacy for a user of an audio electronic device

Abstract: The invention is directed to techniques for suppressing the voice of a user of an audio electronic device, such as a mobile phone, from being heard by an unintended listener. In one arrangement, the invention includes an input microphone, an electronics module, and a suppression speaker. The user speaks into the input microphone, and the electronics module generates an antivoice signal from a voice signal received from the input microphone. The suppression speaker outputs an antivoice output that combines with the voice of the user to form a voice suppression zone next to the speaker. The user thus can carry on his or her conversation in private as long as the unintended listener is within the voice suppression zone. Alternately, the user can avoid distracting other users of similar devices nearby, such as in a crowded office environment with many individuals using telephones at the same time. In another arrangement, the invention includes multiple suppression speakers that can be oriented in different directions to provide one or more voice suppression zones.

Inventors: Bradford; Richard W. (Westford, MA), Jacobs; Philip (Windham, NH)

Assignee: Cisco Technology, Inc.

International Classification: H03B 29/00 (20060101); A61F 11/06 (20060101); G10K 11/16 (20060101); H04R 3/02 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 8/08/02018