GB2284723A - Secure whisper call announcement - Google Patents

Secure whisper call announcement Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2284723A
GB2284723A GB9406134A GB9406134A GB2284723A GB 2284723 A GB2284723 A GB 2284723A GB 9406134 A GB9406134 A GB 9406134A GB 9406134 A GB9406134 A GB 9406134A GB 2284723 A GB2284723 A GB 2284723A
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GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
party
announcement
method
defined
message
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB9406134A
Other versions
GB9406134D0 (en
Inventor
R William Taylor
Alexander F Tulai
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Microsemi Semiconductor ULC
Original Assignee
Microsemi Semiconductor ULC
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to CA 2110943 priority Critical patent/CA2110943A1/en
Application filed by Microsemi Semiconductor ULC filed Critical Microsemi Semiconductor ULC
Publication of GB9406134D0 publication Critical patent/GB9406134D0/en
Publication of GB2284723A publication Critical patent/GB2284723A/en
Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/20Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges with means for interrupting existing connections; with means for breaking-in on conversations
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/487Arrangements for providing information services, e.g. recorded voice services, time announcements

Description

2284723 1 SECURE WHISPER CALL ANNOUNCEMENT This invention relates to

telephony, and in particular to a method of providing a brief message to only one party of a telephone call during a call in 5 progress.

During a call in progress it is sometimes desirable to provide an urgent message to one of the parties of the call, without the other party hearing the message.

For example, a secretary may wish to announce particulars of a visitor or of an important other call that has been received to a boss who is in the midst of another call. In such cases, a strategy has been used in which the secretary brings in a note carrying a message to the boss, or announces the call via an intercom or other separate line to a loudspeaker which is within hearing distance of the boss.

However the technique of bringing in a note carrying a time sensitive message to the boss causes the secretary to leave her desk, which may be difficult to do for such reasons as there being an influx of many sequential or overlapping incoming telephone calls to answer, or due to there being visitors to attend to. Thus the announcement can be delayed, leading to frustration and/or the inability to respond to the timesensitive message on time.

The technique of providing the announcement via loudspeaker can allow the far-end party to hear the announcement due to sidetone in the intercom circuits, echo in the local loop, or due to acoustic coupling between the loudspeaker and the microphone of the telephone set used by the boss.

Thus the above-noted announcement techniques have not been entirely satisfactory for time-sensitive and confidential announcements.

2 The present invention is concerned with a method of providing a call announcement message immediately, without requiring the secretary to bring a note to the boss, and without the danger of the far-end party obtaining access to the message via acoustic coupling, sidetone or echo.

Using one embodiment of the invention, the far-end party is not provided with any indicator that a message is being given to the boss, and in another embodiment, while it is possible for the far-end party to sense "something", what is sensed is not the message itself, but only an unusual short hold on the line.

In an arrangement to be described belowt a method of providing a call announcement message -includes receiving a brief announcement for one party to a call in progress between at least two parties, injecting the announcement to a communication path to a telephone set of the one party whereby it may be heard by the one party, and inhibiting transmission of the announcement to any other party to the call in progress.

A feature of one arrangement is that the aforenoted method includes adding the announcement to a channel from the any other parties to the one party.

In a further arrangementr the first-noted method includes substituting the announcement in place of signals from the any other party to the one party for the duration of the announcement.

- In yet another arrangement in the operation of the first-noted method the inhibiting step includes injecting the announcement into an unidirectional transmission path to the telephone set of the one party.

3 A better understanding of the invention will be obtained by reading the description of the invention below, with reference to the following drawings, in 5 which: -

Figure 1 illustrates the steps of a preferred embodiment of the invention, Figure 2 is a block diagram of a system in which an embodiment of the invention can be carried out, and Figure 3 is a block diagram of another system in which an embodiment of the invention can be carried out.

Figure 1 illustrates in part (a) that a call is in process between parties A and B, who are respectively speaking in two directions, from A to B and from B to A. A brief announcement message is to be made from party C, who might be for example a secretary or some other third party. As shown in part (b), the message from party C is added in adder 1 to the channel carrying the signal from B to A. Since the signal is added in the unidirectional channel from B to A, it does not pass to party B. This embodiment presumes that there are separate channels carrying signals from A and B, and from B to A, from the telephone set of A to a point electrically closer to B than the point of addition of the announcement message. This type of system is realizable in for example a system that transmits voice signals digitally to party A, for example as in the system sold under the trade mark RADICALL by Mitel Corporation.

In such a system each telephone set is connected via at least two digital channels to a digital signal processor via a data bus such as an ST-BUS. An ST-BUS carries 32 channels of 8 bit PCM voice samples, each at 1/125 microseconds, at 8000 Hz. Each of the digital 4 channels, carried on the same subscriber loop conductor pair, is unidirectional into the telephone set of the subscriber, e.g. a 400 type telephone set sold by Mitel corporation. Thus while a two way conversation is being carried out during the progress of a call over the same pair of wires, each one-way portion of the conversation is time-share isolated on the pair of wires. It will be recognized that other telephone systems that carry separate voice channels in different directions could be used. - Once the message has been added to the one-way channel portion of the call to party A, as shown in part (c) of Figure 1 a confirmation tone is transmitted by the system to party C as notification that the announcement message has been sent. At the same time the adder 1 is taken out of the transmission path, and the normal two way message path between A and B is reestablished as in part (a).

It is preferred that the amplitude of the announcement message should be controlled, in order that it should be properly heard by party A. For this reason a variable gain control circuit 3 should be placed in series with the announcement message path, prior to its input to the adder 1. This gain control can be set manually, or preferably by sensing in an amplitude sensor 5 having an input connected to the transmission path from party B to party A, the amplitude of the signal from party B. In this case the amplitude sensor, sensing the amplitude of the signal in the path from party B, controls the variable gain control to apply the announcement signal from party C preferrably with an amplitude slightly higher than that from party B, in order that it should override it and be properly heard by party A.

It should be noted that if desired, the adder 1, in addition to injecting the announcement message from party C, can mute the signal from party B to whatever level is desired, from no mute to full mute in which the signal from party B is temporarily cut off for the duration of the announcement message. In this case adder 1 should be construed to be a combination adder and muting circuit. This can be effected by either applying the signal of the announcement message to an automatic gain control in series with the message path from party B, or applying it to a threshold circuit which senses the signal announcement signal and once sensed, applies an enable signal to a circuit that applies attenuation in the signal path from party B for the duration of the announcement. This circuit can utilize hysteresis if desired.

Figure 2 illustrates a representative hardware platform on which one embodiment of the invention may be realized. The structure is a digital telephone switching system including a main bus 10 to which a main processor 12 and a digital signal processor (DSP) 14 are connected. The preferred DSP is comprised of at least one DX chip 16, which is a programmable combination time division and space division switching system, and is described in U.S. patent 4,510,597 issued April 9, 1985 invented by Conrad Lewis, and which is incorporated herein by reference.

Connected to the bus 10 are digital network interface circuits (DNICs) 18A and 18B such as type MT8972 sold by Mitel Corporation, and described on pages 4-183 to 4-200 in the 1988 Mitel Semiconductor Handbook, which is incorporated herein by reference. Each DNIC has an output bus which is referred to in the aforenoted handbook as an ST-BUS, and can support 32 digital input and output channels.

6 Digital telephone sets 20A, 20B and 20C are connected to respective DNICs 18A, 18B and 18C, and each communicates with its corresponding DNIC, sending digital voice signals to it via one digital channel and receiving digital voice signals from it in another digital channel, and sending and receiving control and supervisory digital signals to and from the DNIC via digital control and supervisory channels, the aforenoted channels being time-shared on the link between the telephone set and the DNIC. A typical digital trunk interface 22 is also shown connected to bus 10.

In operation, assume that there is a call in progress between a party at telephone set 20A (referred to below as party A) and a party at telephone set 20B (referred to below as party B) or on trunk 22 (referred to below as the trunk party), or a conference call with the party B and the party on trunk 22. The call is set up and is controlled by and through DSP 14, under control of processor 12.

In one method of operation of the arrangement, a brief message is to be sent by a party at telephone set 20C (referred to below as party C) to party A, without the other parties to the call hearing the message. Party C goes off hook, dials a predetermined code, such as #9901, and speaks the message. The prefix designation #99 is understood by the DSP to mean "brief announcement message to be sent", and the following 110111 is understood to be the local number of party A's telephone, although any nonconfusing prefix and any number of any telephone set controllable by the system can be dialed.

When party C goes off hook, this is recognized by the DSP in a well known manner, and it provides a register to receive digits dialed by party C. Upon recognizing #99 it invokes a program to provide a signal 7 addition function, as described with reference to figure 1, part (b). The program receives the remaining digits 01, looks up which digital telephone channel is designated by the digits 01 in a database stored in a memory of main processor 12, and establishes the addition function in the unidirectional digital path leading toward party A. This can be implemented by a PCM addition function within the DSP, or by assigning an additional channel to party A and controlling telephone set 20A by commands transmitted in the control channel to receive data in both the basic and additional receive channels.

Termination of the message interval can be effected by the DSP monitoring for signals in a channel carrying signals from party C, and considering the message terminated after average energy less than a predetermined level for a period of time is sensed, or by monitoring for a termination signal, such as party C dialing a 1111.

When the message interval has been completed and the message path from party C to party A ceased (the addition function removed), the DSP provides a tone in a channel to party C as confirmation that the message was successfully sent.

When the addition path is established, the message spoken by party C is added to the signal transmitted to party A, who hears it. Since the channel is unidirectional, neither party B nor the trunk party can hear it, and neither becomes aware that a message has been sent.

The DSP also controls the amplitude of the message signal by passing it through a variable gain control. This can be a digital amplifier/attenuator, controlled either by an external manual control (e. g. a DIP switch), or manually from a service console connected to bus 10, or dynamically by monitoring the signal from party B or the equivalent, and providing a gain control signal to the variable gain control, as described earlier with respect to Figure 1.

Figure 3 illustrates as an example another form of telephone switching system, in which the signals transmitted to the telephone sets are of analog form. A switching system of this type is described in U.S.

patents 4,615,028, issued September 30, 1986 and 4,616,360, issued October 7, 1986 and are incorporated herein by reference.

Briefly, the aforenoted system is comprised of a main bus 26, to which a main processor 28, a DSP 29, a circuit switch 30 and a message switch 32 are connected.

Telephone sets 34A - 34N are connected via line circuits 36A - 36N to a peripheral interface circuit 38 controlled by a peripheral controller 40, as are trunk circuits such as trunk circuit 42 which are connected to trunks. The circuit switch 30 is connected to the peripheral interface 38 for interconnecting voice and data signals between telephone sets, and the message switch is connected to peripheral controller 40 for exchanging control and supervisory data messages related to control of the peripheral interface, the line circuits, etc.

In operation of the present embodiment, assume that there is a call in progress between the trunk party and party N who is using telephone set 34N. Party A wishes to sent a brief message to party N. She goes off hook, which is sensed by peripheral controller 40, which sends a message via message switch to processor 28.

Party A then dials #992254, which designates by #99 that a message is to be transmitted to party N, the telephone line of which is designated by the numeral 2254. These digits are transmitted by the peripheral 9 controller via the message switch 32 to the main processor, which recognizes the meaning of #99 as that described earlier, sends a control message to peripheral controller 40 to place a hold on the trunk in trunk circuit 42, and to connect the line circuit of party A to the line circuit of party N. Party A speaks the message. The message itself passes from telephone set 34A through the line circuit 36A through peripheral interface 38 to line circuit 36N, and to telephone set 10 34N, where it is heard by party N. Party A then dials If$#, which indicates that the message is complete. Peripheral controller 40, recognizing the 1111, sends a message via message switch 32 to processor 12, which sends a message to controller 40 to disconnect line 15 circuit 36A from line circuit 36N, to reconnect trunk 42 to line circuit 36N, and to remove the hold. When the line circuit 36A has been disconnected from line circuit 36N, the processor 28 can cause DSP 29 to generate a digital tone, and cause passage of that tone through message switch 32 or through circuit switch 30. peripheral controller 40 andlor peripheral controller 38 to line circuit 36A for reception by party A as confirmation that the message has been successfully provided to party N.

It should be noted that in case line circuit 36N is connected to a different peripheral interface than interface 38, line circuit 36A can be connected to it through circuit switch 30, as described in the last noted two U.S. patents.

In this embodiment, the message is sent to party A, but during the interval of the message the transmission path between the trunk party and party N is cut off, which may or may not be noticed by the trunk party.

However, since the interval of the message is typically 1 - 2 seconds, and at most a few seconds, this is not 1 considered to be a significant impediment to the conversation, since the parties need only repeat at most a few seconds of conversation.

A person understanding this invention may now conceive of alternative structures and embodiments or variations of the above. All of those which fall within the scope of the claims appended hereto are considered to be part of the present invention.

n

Claims (7)

  1. A method of providing a call announcement message including:
    a) receiving a brief announcement for one party to a call in progress between at least two parties.
    b) injecting the announcement to a communication path to a telephone set of said one party whereby it may be heard by said one party, and c) inhibiting transmission of said announcement to any other party to said call in progress.
  2. 2.. A method as defined in claim 1 including adding said announcement to a channel from said any other parties to said one party.
  3. 3. A method as defined in claim 2 including modifying the amplitude of said announcement to a level above the amplitude of signals from said other parties being carried via said channel to said one party prior to adding said announcement to said one channel.
  4. 4. A method as defined in claim 1 including substituting said announcement in place of signals from said any other party to said one party for the duration of said announcement.
  5. 5.. A method as defined in claim 1 in which said inhibiting step is comprised of injecting the announcement into an unidirectional transmission path to the telephone set of said one party.
    12
  6. 6. A method as defined in claim 5 in which said unidirectional transmission path is a one-way digital channel on a multiplexed transmission line carrying separate digital channels in two directions.
  7. 7. A method as defined in claim 4 in which the inhibiting step is comprised of severing a connection of said any other party from a transmission path to the telephone set of said one party temporarily during time of said brief announcement, and then reconnecting the transmission path between said any other party and said one party.
    A method as defined in claim 4 in which a temporary hold connection is placed on the transmission path for said any other party during time of said brief announcement.
    so 9. A method as defined in claim 1 substantially as described herein with reference to any one of the figures of the accompanying drawings.
    It
GB9406134A 1993-12-08 1994-03-28 Secure whisper call announcement Withdrawn GB2284723A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
CA 2110943 CA2110943A1 (en) 1993-12-08 1993-12-08 Secure whisper call announcement

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB9406134D0 GB9406134D0 (en) 1994-05-18
GB2284723A true GB2284723A (en) 1995-06-14

Family

ID=4152587

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
GB9406134A Withdrawn GB2284723A (en) 1993-12-08 1994-03-28 Secure whisper call announcement

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CA (1) CA2110943A1 (en)
DE (1) DE4416083A1 (en)
GB (1) GB2284723A (en)
IT (1) IT1270049B (en)

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2000033531A2 (en) * 1998-11-30 2000-06-08 Telefonaktiebolaget Lm Ericsson (Publ) Isolated connection in a multiparty call
EP1677503A1 (en) * 2004-12-29 2006-07-05 AT&T Corp. Audible calling party identification for a call waiting service

Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2239580A (en) * 1989-11-27 1991-07-03 Matsushita Electric Ind Co Ltd Key telephone system
US5034947A (en) * 1990-03-06 1991-07-23 Confertech International Whisper circuit for a conference call bridge including talker nulling and method therefor

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2239580A (en) * 1989-11-27 1991-07-03 Matsushita Electric Ind Co Ltd Key telephone system
US5034947A (en) * 1990-03-06 1991-07-23 Confertech International Whisper circuit for a conference call bridge including talker nulling and method therefor

Cited By (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2000033531A2 (en) * 1998-11-30 2000-06-08 Telefonaktiebolaget Lm Ericsson (Publ) Isolated connection in a multiparty call
WO2000033531A3 (en) * 1998-11-30 2000-11-09 Ericsson Telefon Ab L M Isolated connection in a multiparty call
EP1677503A1 (en) * 2004-12-29 2006-07-05 AT&T Corp. Audible calling party identification for a call waiting service
US7639790B2 (en) 2004-12-29 2009-12-29 At&T Corp. Method and apparatus for providing an audible calling party identification for a call waiting service
US8379817B2 (en) 2004-12-29 2013-02-19 At&T Intellectual Property Ii, L.P. Method and apparatus for providing an audible calling party identification for a call waiting service
US8953763B2 (en) 2004-12-29 2015-02-10 At&T Intellectual Property Ii, L.P. Method and apparatus for providing an audible calling party identification for a call waiting service

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
ITMI940783A1 (en) 1995-06-08
GB9406134D0 (en) 1994-05-18
CA2110943A1 (en) 1995-06-09
DE4416083A1 (en) 1995-06-14
IT1270049B (en) 1997-04-28
ITMI940783D0 (en) 1994-04-22

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