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NEC develops highly efficient noise suppression technologies

NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) has developed highly efficient noise suppression technologies that help ensure clear voice communications with smart devices by suppressing "tapping" sounds from touch-screen operations. These technologies preserve clear voice communications on smart devices, such as smartphones and tablets, while allowing users to comfortably take advantage of touch-screen functions.

In recent years, as smart devices rapidly spread throughout the world, there are a growing number of people using touch-screens during their conversations. These touch screens are used for a wide range of purposes, including map searches and document sharing. However, these operations cause unwanted noise from tapping with fingers and touch-pens that may interfere with the clarity of voice communications.  Even if these noises go unnoticed by a person speaking, the internal microphones of smart devices often detect these sounds and interfere with the quality of voice transmissions.

"NEC's newly developed technologies enable users to comfortably operate their touch-screens while free from concern about harming voice communications," said Yasunori Mochizuki, vice president, Information and Media Processing Laboratories, NEC. "When deployed with NEC's LT tablets, these technologies not only suppress tapping noise, they accomplish it without causing troublesome processing delays, which is important for users on-the-go."

Primary features of these technologies include the following:

Accurate detection and suppression of tapping noise

Tapping noise is detected with a high degree of precision by gathering the peaks from all frequency waves then detecting the distinct characteristics of tapping noises. Waves with tapping characteristics are then suppressed. This is accomplished without negatively impacting voice signals since speech waves are not suppressed.

Efficiently increase noise suppression with little increased processing

These technologies efficiently suppress both background noise (environmental noise) and tapping noise without requiring significantly more processing. This is accomplished by using a common process for the decomposition and re-composition of input signals for both background and tapping noise. Moreover, this method requires approximately 30% fewer calculations when compared to methods that do not use common processes.

In addition to tapping, these technologies can effectively suppress a wide range of unwanted impact noises that share the same characteristics as tapping, including sounds from keyboards and game controllers.

Going forward, NEC will continue driving the development of noise suppression technologies, aiming to provide these tapping technologies for smart devices throughout the world by the end of 2013.