IP protection

PART B: VALORISATION PLAN

 

1

Please provide a short description of the state-of-the-art and/or current trends in the field? How does the result fit into it?
Keywords: soundscape, microphone array

Looking to what the market already offers, or to existing projects some results can be found:

Binaural Capture and Synthesis of Ambient Soundscapes

http://www.sbir.gov/sbirsearch/detail/73145

A Modular Microphone Array for Surround Sound Recording:

http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=11309

Spatial Soundscape Renderer (SRR)

http://audio.qu.tu-berlin.de/?p=629

The research result is able to acquire a soundscape composed from multiple sources located in different places by a limited number of arrays and make it possible to separate the sources coming from different directions using beamforming techniques. This technique supersedes some kind of “flat” or stereo recording.

 

2

What is the problem/need/knowledge gap that the research result is responding to?  How was it addressed before?
In the last two centuries a lot of memories about the environment that surrounds our everyday life have been stored in printed and later in digital pictures. Much less has been done about the sounds. Recording and reproducing sounds related to a certain environment is fundamental to have “a more complete picture”. Soundscapes may be put in relation to many factors like: quality of life, culture, environment, noise, etc.

“Browsable Soundscapes for an audio world map” aims to fill a the big hole created by the missing sounds. This is done by recording and making the recorded sounds available for a later reproduction  keeping also the spatial information present in it. This concept is well suited also to virtual tours or virtual tourist guides.

 

 

3

What is the potential for further research?
The potential is related to the enhancement of the current techniques that showed some limiting factors. One of them is the presence of side lobes of the spatial response filter of beamforming that leads to interferences of sounds coming from directions different from the desired one.

 

4

What is the proposed method of IPR-protection? (patent, license, trademark etc.)
About the protection of the algorithms, the copyright could be considered.

A similar level of protection can be made by the researcher by sending the software description and the software itself on a CD in a closed envelop by certified mail to himself. The stamp certifies the date of release of the software and can be used against claims of originality or to claim originality.

The patent could be a possibility for a complete “machine” to be considered as a product. At the moment, the product is be based on some commercial off the shelf components with a custom hardware and algorithms.

 

 

 

 

 

5

What are the steps that need to be taken in order to secure the IPR-protection? What is the cost of IPR-protection?
A first view of patents with the keywords soundscape, microphone array shows some  relevant results.

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6851512.html

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/7876914.html

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2004/0076301.html

http://www.google.com/patents/US6851512

A detailed search about similar methods or products is advised since several pertinent patents comes out from search engines.

The patent costs in Italy are around 2500 € (up front) + increasing annual fees from 60€ up to 650€ in the 20 year period. The estimated cost for the PCT application in the main countries is in the range of tens of k€.

 

 

6

What is you overall assessment of the scientific maturity of the research result?
The scientific contributions have are deeply tested and the needed effort is mostly on making them integrated usable and cost effective. This is why it can be stated that the result is mature.

 

 

 

 

KEYWORDS QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT (0-5).

Please put X as appropriate. 1 2 3 4 5
Scientific maturity         X
Synergies       X  
State-of-the-art/innovation     X    
IPR-potential     X    

 

 

 

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