Meetings and other forms of social relationships and all related technical solutions have a long tradition of thousands of years. The proposed tool takes into account the needs of a wide circle of end-users; therefore it is capable to satisfy the needs of events ranging from small events to large international forums, comprising several thousands of participants, using several languages and functions. One of the real innovation content of the idea is that it makes use of the possibilities offered by the Internet, extending the physical boundaries of the events, and enabling the system to provide the same complex conference-IT services to distant places. We aim at creating such a complex wireless "device family", which in the first run will satisfy the above-mentioned services, but remains universally open for other forms of application (e.g. education). It is also of utmost importance that the proposed system will offer a full solution for handicapped people for their participation in conferences and social events.
- The most traditional methods use a couple of microphones, placed in specific places of the conference hall, linked to a central amplification system. Subsequent methods, based on the so called shared amplification principle, delegated individual devices for each participant with own microphone and loud-speaker.
This solution allows for feedback-free amplification, and apart from that it disposes of commanding functions, enabling the identification of some of the participants.
According to the general practice and depending on the nature of the meeting, the participants, can take the floor in two ways:
In a free (automatic) way, where all participants have the right to make contributions and switch on the microphone;
In parliamentary (manual) system, where the participant can only signal his/her intention to make a contribution and the chairman gives the floor to the participant.
The systemic approach allows the construction of equipments differentiating between different types of participants: for example there are devices for the "normal" participant, and equipment for the chairman allowing special operations, and also a special equipment for the type-writer (only for listening).
An important function is the apply-accept function (allowing the participants to "take the floor"), but in multilingual conferences there is another important task: the channelling of the voice of simultaneous interpreters to all participants. As not all participants listen to the same language, this task can only be fulfilled with single, individual devices.
Another important function is the "voting" function, which is used in the decision making process. The participants, similarly to the interpreting device, can vote with a separate voting device or by using the voting function of the integrated equipment of participants.
According to the plans the required tasks will be fulfilled at the hardware level, with a complex radio signal flow enabling simultaneous multi-direction and multi-function information transmission. This solution has many advantages, compared to previous frequency or time-multiplex solutions, which are especially useful in this field of activity. Connected to this, several electronic circuit modules should be set up to support the basic functions.
In the construction of the devices we focused specially on the modern designing solutions based on the 3D designing principles and ergonomic considerations. In our work we made use of the national and international experience of our experts participating in the work.
The software package can be defined on four levels:
- The basic level is the micro controller unit managing the hardware modules. This unit is coordinating the operation of the electric circuits, and the intelligent communication between them. It is able, using a well-defined command system, to operate the other elements of the system following to the commands of a supreme level. This software is installed directly in the participants devices;
- The following level is in direct connection with this hardware-contacting surface, and it is placed in a central device. This unit is capable to coordinate the operation of the whole system according to pre-defined commands. Where the software is installed in the main central device, which in a simple case is a processing unit, then the user surface of this device will constitute the further contact surface. In other, most common cases, where we find a PC-commanded system this middle software level will establish the connection within the intelligence at the hardware level and more sophisticated IT applications;
- The third level is the interface between the system-operating software and the user. In the simpler case, where the system is based on a processing unit the software handles the commanding functions of the PC, applications ensure much more possibilities for communication on the user side, furthermore these applications are able to run and send the necessary commands simultaneaously;
- The fourth level ensures the web connection for the applications. This software module on the one hand contains "online" information on the ongoing event, and it enables for authorised people to hear the speeches of participants, on the other hand makes possible the connection, and cooperation of several simultaneous events, which are connected to the web.
Funding SchemeEAW - Exploratory awards