GB2337658A - Door answering machine - Google Patents

Door answering machine Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2337658A
GB2337658A GB9811041A GB9811041A GB2337658A GB 2337658 A GB2337658 A GB 2337658A GB 9811041 A GB9811041 A GB 9811041A GB 9811041 A GB9811041 A GB 9811041A GB 2337658 A GB2337658 A GB 2337658A
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United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
remote control
answering machine
control unit
door answering
door
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Granted
Application number
GB9811041A
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GB2337658B (en
GB9811041D0 (en
Inventor
Christine Elizabeth Sayles
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Christine Elizabeth Sayles
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Publication date
Application filed by Christine Elizabeth Sayles filed Critical Christine Elizabeth Sayles
Priority to GB9811041A priority Critical patent/GB2337658B/en
Publication of GB9811041D0 publication Critical patent/GB9811041D0/en
Publication of GB2337658A publication Critical patent/GB2337658A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of GB2337658B publication Critical patent/GB2337658B/en
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical
Expired - Fee Related legal-status Critical Current

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M11/00Telephonic communication systems adapted for combination with other electrical systems
    • H04M11/02Telephonic communication systems adapted for combination with other electrical systems with bell or annunciator systems
    • H04M11/025Door telephones

Abstract

An operator of a door answering machine can select a synthesised voice message to be played to a caller or talk to the caller via an intercom. The operator may select the message after hearing the caller speak. The answer phone may be operated remotely via a mobile radio network. Other features may include: a recording facility 9, an alarm and multi language synthesised messages.

Description

2337658 - 1 DOOR ANSWERING MACHINE This invention relates to a door

answering machine, by which is meant a manually operated device by means of whih the operator, who would normally be located inside the premises, can communicate with a person outside the premises (the caller) by operating by touch, remote control or otherwise a machine located on or near to an entrance point, usually a door.

By activating a switch or other suitable mechanism, the person inside the premises is able to respond to a caller on the outside by producing a synthesized message which will be audible to both caller and operator.

The door answering machine may also be operated by 0 remote control, for example from an armchair or the garden.

0 It is likely, although not essential, that for long distance use the remote control unit will use existing mobile telephone networks utilising both current and future technology especially airwave technology such as, but not necessarily, that provided by Cellnet.

The remote control may function as part of a mobile telephone or alone and would probably be plugged into the mains electricity to re-charge the batteries while not in use.

If adapted for distance use, the remote control will have unlimited range within the United Kingdom, and further.

Mechanisms exist in both the short and long range units 0 which may even be combined in a single unit, to override the synthesized messages in order that person to person conversation may take place.

The remote control unit may be adapted so that technology more usually associated with intercoms may be used up to a radius of, but not necessarily, three hundred metres thereafter switching by manual or automatic function to the use of 0 (RTM) airwave technology, for example that used by Cellnet, thus making the unit cost effective.

Indeed, the remote control operator may communicate orally with any person who activates the system by knocking, ringing or triggering otherwise some stimulus at the entrance point to the premises concerned, from anywhere in the United Kingdom, or further.

A farmer may tell the delivery person where to leave the seed without leaving his tractor and the field he is ploughing, a mother may tell her returning child that she has had to go out and which neighbour will take responsibility for them, a couple may tell their friends that they have gone to Brighton for the day and a business person will be able to talk to customers who call without an appointment so that opportunities will not be lost.

The door answering machine may be switched to 'automatic answering' by operating a switch on the door answering machine or the remote control unit so that the messages will be audible to callers even if there is nobody operating the system personally and the premises are vacant.

By premises we mean any property belonging to or rightfully possessed by a person or persons, whether possession 3 - relates to buildings or land of any nature.

The disadvantages of answering the door personally are numerous. For example, it enables a caller to ascertain the sex, likely age and vulnerability of the person inside the premises. It enables a caller to engage a person in conversation, possibly exerting influence over them and to gain access to the premises. It also confirms that the premises are indeed occupied should breaking and entering be the caller's intention. All this information may be ascertained by a caller even without the door being opened, but by conversation through the door or via an 'intercom'. Should the door be opened, access may be gained without difficulty by trickery or force.

The present invention aims at overcoming these problems to give people more control and anonymity within their homes, businesses or other premises as well as enabling them to keep in touch with people who may visit their premises during their absence. Many homes open directly onto a street or passageway where the public have right of way. There are an increasing number of retired people within the United Kingdom and other countries and the door answering machine incorporates special additional features (such as the remote control) to assist those with mobility problems and the usual disabilities associated with increasing age, such as failing eye sight and hearing.

- 4 In addition there is a multilingual facility incorporated into the voice synthesizer so that operators may respond to callers in a language which is appropriate to them by operating a switch or other mechanism.

The message taking facility, in the form of a cassette tape, digital recorder, or other mechanism, has the advantage that callers will not be left frustrated and will be able to leave a message if they wish. The facility also records the voice of the caller as soon as the machine is activated by ringing, knocking or other stimulii, so that absent owners will have an oral record of who has called during their absence.

The oral record may also be of assistance to the police when trying to track down and prossecute bogus callers and may also act as a deterent to such people.

Accordingly, the present invention provides a door answer ing machine with a remote control unit and battery charger which is as claimed in the appended claims.

The present invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 is a view from the front of the door answering machine of the present invention; Figure 2 is a similar view of the remote control system of the present invention; Ficure 3 is a similar view of a receiver/transmitter commonly known as a 'bug'.

Figure 1 incorporates all the following functions listed hereunder.

2 indicates an on/off switch which will be linked to either battery power or direct current. To assist persons with poor vision an audible 'bleep' or other sound will be triggered when the machine is switched on and off.

3 indicates the vocal input/output grill.

4 indicates the power 'on' indicator light.

indicates the 'alarm' or 'neighbour alert' switch which will usually be activated by pressing a button in a similar manner to the switches 8 and 10.

6 indicates the volume control function operated by two separate switches, one controlling the volume transmitted from outside the premises and one controlling the volume transmitted from inside the premises.

7 indicates the low power warning indicator light which incorporates a bleeper similar to those commonly found in fire alarms.

8 indicates a selection of synthesized voice message switches which will probably, although not necessarily, emit the following responses which are only given by way of example.

C a. "This is a door answering machine. Please state your name and business. 11 b. 'Sorry. Can you repeat that please?" C. "You do not have an appointment. Please leave. If you would like to leave a message please speak after the tone." Followed by a "bleep" tone.

d. "Please put ID through the letter box."

e. "Please wait."

f. "Please leave or I will call the police."

g. "Police are being called."

9 indicates the cassette, digital recorder or ing facility which will be activated by a previous function, for example when the door bell is rung, or when the first synthesized response 8 a. is emitted. The recording facility will continue to run for the period during which any activity of a vocal nature is taking place. If there follows a predetermined period when no words etc. are spoken and no further buttons are pressed, then the recording facility will switch itself off.

indicates the automatic answering onloff switch for probably but not necessarily responses a. b. c. f. and g.

11 indicates the language select control switch so that synthesized vocal responses may be given in a variety of languages, for example, Chinese, English, Urdu, Spanish and Japanese.

Figure 2 is a diagram of the remote control unit which may be used in conjunction with the door answering machine but which is an optional extra and not an essential part of the door answering machine system.

12 indicates the earpiece, which also incorporates the on/off switch 19 activated by sliding the ear piece upwards and downwards.

other record- 7 13 indicates the synthesized voice standard response switches which may be pressed at will once the 'automatic response override switch' 17 has been actiated.

14 indicates the language select switches which will also function once the 'automatic response override switch' 17 has been activated.

indicates the control which will switch the system to hands free operation making the remote unit more sensitive to vocal input/output and eradicating back-round noise simultaneously.

16 indicates the alarm button. It may be necessary to trigger the alarm occasionally to drive away undesirable callers and this can be achieved by pressing 16 the 'alarm' or 'neighbour alert' switch. after the auto. response override 17 is pressed.

17 indicates the automatic response override switch. When the remote control is switched to the on position, should a caller activate the door answering machine a 'bleep' or similar audible sound will be emitted by the remote control system alerting the owner that there is a person at their front door or other entry point. By placing the remote to the ear, or activating the hands free switch 15, it will be possible to hear what is happening at the door to the premises. Should it be desirable to override the door answering machine including the automatic responses, then it is possible to do this by pressing 17 thereby enabling the user to enter into general conversation with the caller via the door answering machine.

Q 8 19 indicates the on/off power switch which is activated by sliding the earpiece upwards and downwards again.

indicates the volume control buttons.

21 indicates the control switch for setting/resetting the door answering machine to automatic function mode.

Figure 3 is a diagram of what is more commonly known as a 'bug' and is numbered 22, or receiver/transmitter which may be secreted outside the premises should reception be interfered with, for example by an overly thick door. NOTE: Synthesized vocal messages in the context of the invention refers to a sequence of electronically or otherwise produced sounds, resembling a pattern of sounds similar to that of a person speaking and which can be clearly understood by the hearer, put together to form recognisable sentences in a variety of different languages. It is also envisaged that a direct input voice synthesizer may be incorporated into the system in order that any words spoken by the operator shall only be emitted from the door answering machine after being reduced to a state of electronically or otherwise produced sounds resembling a pattern of sounds similar to that of a person speaking and which can be clearly understood by the hearer, put together to form recognisable words and sentences in any language.

- 9

Claims (19)

1. A door answering machine in the form of a mounted or free standing unit operated manually or by remote control, which enables the operator to communicate with a person or persons on or near to his or her premises, by activating synthesized vocal responses; which may also be programmed to give synthesized vocal responses in a number of different languages and which may be operated from anywhere in the United Kingdom, or further, by the use of a compatible remote control unit which may override all functions temporarily of the door answering machine in order that person to person conversation may take place, orif preferred synthesized vocal responses and other functionsassociated with the door answering machine unit may be activated therefrom.
2. A door answering machine as claimed in Claim 1 above which may be plugged into an electrical socket.
3. A door answering machine as claimed in Claims 1, 2 and 3 wherein the machine may be powered by re-chargeable or replaceable batteries, or any other power source both currently available and to be made available in the future.
4. A remote control unit as claimed in Claim 1 and 4 which will operate within but not necessarily, a radius of 300 metres from the door answering machine without the use of technology normally associated with mobile telephones but that more usually associated with intercom units.
5. A remote control unit as claimed in Claims 1, 4 and 5 - 10 which is powered by rechargeable or replaceable batteries or any other power source which is both currently available and to be made available in the future, for example, solar power.
6. A remote control unit as claimed in Claims 1 and 6 which uses an existing telephone network utilising both current and future technology, especially airwave technology such as, but (RT$4) not necessarily that provided by Cellne, satellite or other suitable technological innovation.
7. A remote control unit as claimed in Claims 1, 5 and 7 which is powered by re-chargeable or replaceable batteries or any other power source which is both currently available and to be made available in the furture, for example solar power.
8. A remote control unit as claimed in Claims 1 and 8 wherein the unit will function up to a predetermined radius from the door answering unit, possibly but not necessarily three hundred metres, by using simple technology more usually associated with intercoms but thereafter will manually or automatically be switched to the use of sound/airwave technology, similar for example to that used by Cellnet, or other suitable technological innovation.
9. A remote control unit as claimed in Claims 1,8 and 9 which is powered by rechargeable or replaceable batteries or any other power source which is both currently available and to be made available in the future, for example solar power.
10. A door answering machine as claimed in Claims 1, 2, 3 and 10 wherein the operator may manually activate a switch 11 - of his or her choice from a number of options available which will emit synthesized vocal messages to a person or persons in the vicinity of the door answering unit.
11. A door answering machine as claimed in Claims 1, 2, 3, and 11 wherein the machine may be switched manually to automatic mode in order that upon receiving a predetermined stimulus or stimulii, preselected synthesized vocal messages in a preselected language, will be emitted to a person or persons in the vicinity of the door answering unit.
12. A remote control unit as claimed in Claims 1, 8, 9 and 12, wherein the operator may manually activate a switch of his or her choice from a number of options available which will cause synthesized vocal messages to be emitted to a person.or persons in the vicinity of the door answering unit.
13. A remote control unit as claimed in Claims 1, 8, 9, 12 and 13, wherein the operator may manually switch the door answering unit to automatic mode from anywhere in the United Kingdom, or further, in order that upon receiving a pre determined stimulus or stimulii, preselected synthesized vocal messages in a preselected language, will be emitted to a person or persons in the vicinity of the door answering unit.
14. A door answering machine as claimed in Claims 1, 2, 3, 10 11 and 14 wherein the operator may manually or by remote control chanoe the language in which the synthesized vocal 0 messages will be heard by the caller.
15. A remote control unit as claimed in Claims 1, 8, 9, 12) 13 and 15 wherein the operator may manually change the language in which the synthesized vocal messages willbe heard by the caller in the vicinity of the door answering machine.
16. A door answering machine as claimed in Claims 1, 2, 3, 10 11, 14, 15 and 16 wherein the operator may manually or by remote control cause an alarm to sound in the proximity of:he door answering unit.
17. A remote control unit as claimed in Claims 1, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16 and 17 wherein the operator may manually cause an alarm to sound in the proximity of the door answering machine.
18. A door answering machine as claimed in Claims 1, 2, 3, 10, 11, 14, 16 and 18 wherein a recording mechanism in the form of a cassette recorder, digital recorder or other system may be activated manually or by a preprogrammed stimulus such as adoor bell or other stimulii, which will record all activity in the vicinity of the unit and which may be playedback at a later time.
19.
13, 15, 17 and 19 wherein the door answering machine may be controlled from anywhere in the United Kingdom or further by operating an automatic response override switch on the unit.
20. A remote control unit, as claimed in Claims 1, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 17 and 20 wherein an audible sound will be emitted to alert the operator that somebody has triggered the door A remote control unit, as claimed in Claims 1, 8, 9, 12, 1 1 answering machine by activating the preprogrammed stimulus such as a door bell. 21. A remote con'trol unit, as claimed in Claims 1, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 17, 20 and 21 whereby the operator may listen to any activity and vocal responses which are occurring in the vicinity of the door answering machine by switching the unit on. 22. A remote control unit as claimed in Claims 1, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 17, 20, 21 and 22 whereby the operator may activate a hands free operation switch making the remote control unit more sensitive to vocal input/output and eradicating background noise simultaneously. 23. A door answering machine as claimed in Claims 1, 2, 3, 10, 0 11, 14, 16, 18 and 23 incorporating a voice synthesizer so that any words spoken by the operator shall only be emitted from the unit after being reduced to a state of electronicly or otherwise produced sounds resembling a pattern of sounds similar to that of a person speaking and which can be clearly understood by the hearer, put together to form recognisable words and sentences in any language. 24. A remote control unit as claimed in Claims 1, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 17, 20, 21, 22 and 24 incorporating a voice synthesizer so that any words spoken by the operator shall only be emitted from the door answering machine after being reduced to a state of electronically or otherwise produced sounds resembling a pattern of sounds similar to that of a person speaking and which can be clearly understood by the hearer, put together to form recognisable words and sentences in any language.
0 Y - i) Amendments to the claims have been filed as follows 1. A door answering machine operated manually or by remote control up to a predetermined distance using regular intercom technology, at said predetermined distance operation of the door answering machine being switched manually or automatically to the use of mobile telephone technology, the door answering machine comprising means to store a variety of synthesized vocal messages. 2. A door answering machine as claimed in Claim 1, in combination with a remote control unit, whereby said remote control unit uses existing mobile telephone networks. 3. A door answering machine as claimed in Claims 1 and 2, in combination with a remote control unit, wherein said remote control unit will operate within a predetermined radius from the door answering machine without the use of technology normally associated with mobile telephones but that more usually associated with intercom units.
I- tb 4. A door answering machine as claimed in claims 1, 2 and 3, in combination with a remote control unit, wherein said remote control unit will function up to a predetermined distance using regular intercom technology and at a predetermined distance, operation of the remote control unit shall be switched manually or automatically to the use of mobile telephone technology. 5. A door answering machine as claimed in claims 1, 2, 3, and 4, wherein the machine may be switched manually to receiving a pre-selected preselected or persons machine.
A automatic mode in order that upon predetermined stimulus or stimulii, synthesized vocal messages in a language will be emitted to a person in the vicinity of the door answering A door answering machine as claimed in claims 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, in combination with a remote control unit wherein the operator of said remote control unit may remotely switch the door answering machine to automatic mode in order that upon receiving a predetermined stimulus or stimulii, preselected synthesized vocal messages in a preselected language will be emitted to a person or persons in the vicinity of the door answering machine.
17 7. A door answering machine as claimed in claims 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 whereby the operator may manually activate a switch of his or her choice from a number of options available which will cause synthesized vocal messges to be emitted to a person or persons in the vicinity of the door answering unit in a predetermined language. 8. A door answering machine as claimed in claims 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 in combination with a remote control unit wherein the operator of said remote control unit may activate a switch of his or her choice from a number of options available which will cause synthesized vocal messages to be emitted to a person or persons in the vicinity of the door answering unit in a predetermined language. 9. A door answering machine as claimed in claims 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 wherein the operator may manually change the language in which the synthesized vocal messages will be heard by the caller. 10. A door answering machine as claimed in claims 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 in combination with a remote control unit wherein the operator of said remote control unit may remotely change the language in which the synthesized vocal messages will be heard by the caller in the vicinity of the door answering machine.
18. A door answering machine as claimed in claims 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17 in combination with a remote control unit wherein a pre-programmed stimulus will activate a sound recording mechanism in the form of a cassette tape or digital recorder within the door answering machine.
19. A door answering machine as claimed in claims 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 in combination with a remote control unit whereby the remote control system shall function as part of a mobile telephone unit.
18 - c 11. A door answering machine as claimed in claims 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 wherein the operator may manually cause an alarm to sound in the proximity of the door answering machine. 12. A door answering machine as claimed in claims 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 in combination with a remote control unit, wherein the operator of said remote control unit may remotely cause an alarm to sound in the proximity of the door answering machine. 13. A door answering machine as claimed in claims 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 in combination with a remote control unit wherein the door answering machine may be controlled by the remote control unit by operating an automatic response override switch on the remote control unit thus allowing person to person conversation. 14. A door answering machine as claimed in claims 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 in combination with a remote control unit whereby the operator of the said remote control unit may listen to any activity and vocal responses in the vicinity of the door answering machine by switching the remote control unit on. 15. A door answering machine as claimed in claims 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and,14 if in combination with a remote conttrol unit whereby the remote control operator may activate a hands free operation switch making the remote control unit more sensitive to vocal input/output and eradicating background noise simultaneously. 16. A door answering machine as claimed in claims 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15, incorporating a voice synthesizer so that any words spoken by the operator shall be emitted from the door answering machine after being reduced to a state of electronically produced sounds resembling a pattern of sounds similar to that of a person speaking and which can be clearly understood by the listener, put together to form recognisable words and sentences in any language. 17. A door answering machine as claimed in claims 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16, in combination with a remote control unit incorporating a voice synthesizer so that any words spoken by the operator into the remote control unit shall only be emitted from the door answering machine after being reduced to a state of electronically produced sounds resembling a pattern of sounds similar to that of a person speaking and which can be clearly understood by the listener, put together to form recognisable words and sentences in any language.
GB9811041A 1998-05-22 1998-05-22 Door answering machine Expired - Fee Related GB2337658B (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB9811041A GB2337658B (en) 1998-05-22 1998-05-22 Door answering machine

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GB9811041A GB2337658B (en) 1998-05-22 1998-05-22 Door answering machine

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GB9811041D0 GB9811041D0 (en) 1998-07-22
GB2337658A true GB2337658A (en) 1999-11-24
GB2337658B GB2337658B (en) 2000-03-22

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Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6324261B1 (en) * 1997-05-05 2001-11-27 Donald A. Merte Door answering machine
GB2408841A (en) * 2003-08-19 2005-06-08 Oren Petrank Automatic entrance station answering apparatus
ITBO20120140A1 (en) * 2012-03-16 2013-09-17 Veronica Righini intercommunication Group perfected.

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2124854A (en) * 1982-05-28 1984-02-22 Team Concepts Engineering Limi An electronic talking telephone with automatic answering facility
KR880002663A (en) * 1985-08-08 1988-05-10 모리 히데오 Pest Control Mulching Film
GB2315192A (en) * 1996-07-11 1998-01-21 Mitel Corp Cordless telephone interface

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2124854A (en) * 1982-05-28 1984-02-22 Team Concepts Engineering Limi An electronic talking telephone with automatic answering facility
KR880002663A (en) * 1985-08-08 1988-05-10 모리 히데오 Pest Control Mulching Film
GB2315192A (en) * 1996-07-11 1998-01-21 Mitel Corp Cordless telephone interface

Non-Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
WPI Abstract Accession No. 89-218349/198930 & KR 8802663 *

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6324261B1 (en) * 1997-05-05 2001-11-27 Donald A. Merte Door answering machine
GB2408841A (en) * 2003-08-19 2005-06-08 Oren Petrank Automatic entrance station answering apparatus
ITBO20120140A1 (en) * 2012-03-16 2013-09-17 Veronica Righini intercommunication Group perfected.
WO2013135804A1 (en) * 2012-03-16 2013-09-19 Veronica Righini Intercom set
CN104255016A (en) * 2012-03-16 2014-12-31 韦罗妮卡·里吉尼 Intercom set

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Publication number Publication date
GB9811041D0 (en) 1998-07-22
GB2337658B (en) 2000-03-22

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PCNP Patent ceased through non-payment of renewal fee

Effective date: 20020522