US 3855574 A
An alarm device that will set off an audible alarm at a predetermined time. The alarm will sound until it receives a verbal command, at which time the alarm will stop. After a predetermined interval, the alarm will again sound until a verbal command is received. The foregoing will be repeated until a manual switch is actuated that disables the alarm or until such time as it is reset automatically by the alarm mechanism.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 1111 3,855,574 1451 Dec. 17, 1974 Welty VOICE OPERATED ALARM SYSTEM Inventor: Robert E Welty, Independence,
 Assignee: Vox Industries, Inc., Cedar Rapids,
Filed: June 25, 1973 Appl. No.: 373,024
 US. Cl. 340/148, 340/384 E, 340/279,
307/116, 58/21.]5  Int. Cl. G08b 21/00, HOlh 35/24  Field of Search... 340/148, 279, 258 R, 384 E,
l79/l UC; 307/116, 117
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,002,185 9/1961 Bases 340/279 3,082,414 3/1963 Papaminas... 3,471,846 10/1969 Cotter et 211..., .L 340/258 R Boyko 340/258 R 3,611,344 10/1971 Couper 340/279 3,681,916 8/1972 lroyama et al. 340/384 E 3,688,126 8/1972 Klein 307/116 3,688,293 8/1972 Sullivan 340/384 E 3,801,959 4/1974 O'Brien 340/148 Primary Examiner-Donald .1. Yusko Attorney, Agent, or Firm.lames C. Nemmers; Haven E. Simmons  ABSTRACT tuated that disables the alarm or until such time as it is reset automatically by the alarm mechanism.
11 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures POWER SUPPLY 1* i I 24 /26 28 I VOICE VOICE oFF MICROPHONE AMPLIFIER TIMER l 34 4-54 I 44 DISABLE RESET TIMER SWITCH "ALARM 46- \36 50 52 I a I 46 \58 I l I V l CHOPPER TONE OSCILLATOR OSCILLATOR SPEAKER 1 1 4o 4 22 I PIIIEIIIIEIIIIEII I 3,855,574
" sIIEII 1 III 2' I /IO POwER SUPPLY r I 6 i v 24 2 v 2a I -vOIcE 7 L VOICE OFF MICROPHONE AMPLIFIER TIMER 1 v 34 L54 I 44 DISABLE RESET TIMER SWITCH *ALARM I 46* I I \36 50 52 I l V 4 58 I I V I v I CHOPPER TONE L OSCILLATOR OSCILLATOR SPEAKER I 4O 42 2 2 L L L M l "1, VOICE OPERATED ALARM SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The idea of using the human voice to control or operate an alarm, a radio or a variety of other devices, in-- cluding toys, has been known for some time. In such devices, a speaker which receivesthe sound waves of a certain amplitude will produce an output that is amplified and used to operate a switch to accomplish the desired result. There are also known a varietyof alarm devices that are electrically powered and are used to awaken a person at a preset time, or remindaperson of an appointment or that a predetermined cooking time period has expired, etc. Such devices normally operate on a preset time interval or are actuated upon a preset time of day being reached. Frequently, the person who wishes to be reminded is sleeping, preoccupied "with other things, or may be even slightly absentminded. If this occurs, the person can manually shut off the alarm and forget to take the actionfor which the alarm reminded him. Most persons have experienced this at some time during their lives. Particularly in connection with alarm clocks used to awaken people in the allowing the individualsome additional time to doze in the morning. It is, therefore, an object of theinvention to improve upon alarms of this type.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The inventionprovides a system which may be applied toany alarm device where it is desired to sound an alarm at predetermined intervals, 'such as alarm clocks used for awakening, appointment reminders,
electronic tone rather than a continuous tone. However, the principles of the invention are applicable to a system'in which a continuous tone is produced.
' Referring now'to the drawings, the system is electrically powered from a power supply 10 which includes 115 volt A-C power source 12 that is converted through transformer 14 andbridge circuit 16 into a direct current power supply of twodifferent voltages supplied through a 9 volt D-C output line 20 and 5 volt D-Co'utput line 20. The 5 volt output line 20 is connected and supplies all of the basic components except for speaker22 which is connected to the 9 volt line 20. The 5volt line 20 is connected to each of the components at the points indicated in FIG. 2.
The system includes a voice microphone 24, the output of which is amplified by amplifier 26 to a level sufficient to create an output signal on one of the input lines :28 tothe off-timer 30 whenevera sound of sufficient amplitude is picked up by microphone 24. Preferably, there is provided a potentiometer 32 that regulates the amplitude of sound which will produce an output from thevoice microphone 24 to the amplifier 26. The other input line 34 to off-timer 30 is coupled to the output of cooking timers, etc. The system of the invention inreceived without the sound produced by the alarm' shutting itself off. The'system of the invention provides the foregoing features with a relatively simple and trouble-free electronic circuit.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a block diagram of the system of the invention; and
FIG. 2 is a detailed schematic diagram of the circuitry for an alarm device constructed according to the principles of the invention. I
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION The invention as described herein can be applied to the disable-timer 36, both input lines 28 and 34 being connected to AND gate 38 in the off-timer 30. AND gate 38 will produce an output only when there is an able mode. In the enable mode, chopper 40 produces an output to the tone oscillator 42 which drives the speaker 22 and produces a beep for a brief interval,
preferably around to 500 milliseconds. When the chopper 40 is in the enable mode, it will also produce an output pulse on input line 44 to the disable-timer 36. The other input line 46 to disable-timer 36 is connected to the output of off-timer 30. Input lines 44 and 46 to disable-timer 36 are connected to AND gate 48 which will produce an output on line 34 from disable-timer 36 only if simultaneously there are no inputs on either of the input lines-44 or 46.
The reset switch 50 is a three-way switch operable by the alarm mechanism 52 of any alarm device such as an alarm clock movement. When the alarm 52 is not set to produce an alarm, a signal is produced online 54 which resets the timer 56 in the off-timer 30 which in turn produces an output signal on line 46 to lock the chopper 40 in the disable mode, thereby preventing any tone from being produced by oscillator 42 and speaker 22. When the alarm 52 is set to call for an audible alarm, switch 50 will be reset (electrically, mechanically or otherwise) so that a signal is now produced on line 58 that removesthe lock on the chopper 40 which will then go into the enable mode and produce an output to tone oscillator 42 to drive speaker22 thereby producing an audible tone or beep for a very brief predetermined interval. At the same time, during the enable mode, chopper 40 produces a signal on line 44.
Since there is no output on line 46 from off-timer 30,
AND gate 48 will not produce an output and there will be no output from disable-timer 36 thus preventing any output from off-timer 30 which would lock the chopper 40 in the disable mode. This is so that during the enable mode the sound of the beep produced by speaker 22 will not itself lock the chopper in the disable mode thereby shutting off thetone oscillator 42 immediately after the initial beep. After the predetermined brief interval of the initial beep produced from speaker 22 during the enable mode, the chopper 40 will go into the disable mode in which there is no output to tone oscillator 42 and thus no beep produced by speaker 22. The disable mode continues for a predetermined time (preferably 1 to 2 seconds) that is greater than the time of the enable mode. During the disable mode of chopper 40, there is no output on input line 44 to disabletimer 36. Since there is no output at this time from offtimer 30 on line 46, AND gate 48 will produce an output which will actuate timer 49 thus producing an output on line 34 for the predetermined l to 2 second interval of the disable mode. If during this interval, voice microphone 24 picks up sound of a sufficient amplitude, voice amplifier 26 will produce an output on line 28, and therefore an output will be produced from AND gate 38 actuating timer 56 and producing an output from off-timer 30 on line 46. An output online 46 will lock the chopper in the disable mode and thus prevent any further beep from speaker 22 for the interval of time set by timer 56. Preferably this is a snooze interval of maybe minutes. After the preset interval ,determined by timer 56, the signal will be removed from line 46 thus unlocking chopper 40 and allowing it to go into the enable mode in which the tone oscillator 42 is activated to produce a beep from speaker 22.
If during the interval in which timer 40 of disabletimer 36 is producing an output to off-timer 30 there is no voice or other sound picked up by voice microphone 24, the chopper 40 will return to the enable mode, activate tone oscillator 42 and produce a beep on speaker 22. Thus, an interrupted tone at intervals of l to 2 seconds will be continuously produced until such time as a sound is picked up by voice microphone 24 during the disable mode of chopper 40. If this occurs, the chopper 40 will be locked into the disable mode for the preset interval determined by timer 56 after which interval the interrupted beep will beproduced until voice microphone 24 again picks up a sound during the disable mode of the chopper 40.
Since the described cycle will continue for a predetermined time (l or 2 hours) to sound an interrupted audible alarm at intervals of 5 to minutes (depending upon the setting of timer 56) as long as power is supplied to the system, there is provided a manual switch (not shown) which when actuated will remove the signal from line 58 in reset switch 50 and produce a signal on line 54 that will reset off-timer and lock the chopper in the disable mode so that no tone can be produced by speaker 22 until the alarm 52 is again set to call for an alarm and removes the signal from reset line 54 to the alarm line 58. A signal on reset line 54 also resets the off-timer 30 so that when alarm 52 again calls for a beep from speaker 22 the timer 56 will be at a zero setting.
The system has beendescribed as producing an interrupted beep alarm. However, the system couldbe designed to produce a continuous tone from oscillator 42 at a predetermined frequency. If the system were so designed, a filter (notshown) would have to be provided in the voice amplifier circuit 26 to filter out the frequency of the tone so that the tone of the alarm itself cuitry including values and other pertinent information.
is set forth in FIG. 2.
The invention has been described in connection with a snooze type alarm used for awakening a person from his sleep. However, it is obvious that the principles of the invention could be applied to any alarm device in which it is desired to turn off an alarm by a voice or other sound for a predetermined interval after which the alarm would again sound to provide a second warning. It willjbe further obvious to those skilled in the art that various revisions and modifications can be made to the specific embodiment shown herein without departing from the spirit and principles of the invention. it is my intention, however, that all such revisions and modifications as are obvious to those skilled in the art will be included within the scope of the following claims.
I claim: l. A voice-operated alarm system comprising, alarm means for producing an audible alarm, actuating means for actuating said alarm means, detection means for picking up a sound within the normal range of the 2. The voice-operated alarm system of claim 1 in which said alarm means includes an audio oscillator that produces an intermittent audible sound, and means are provided so that said detection means is disabled during the time that said alarm means is producing an audible sound.
3. The voice-operated alarm system of claim 2 in which said last mentioned means includes a gate oscillator coupled to said audio oscillator and operating in two modes, a disabled mode and an enable mode, said gate oscillator being coupled to said audio oscillator and producing an output to activate said audio oscillator only during the enable mode.
4. The voice-operated alarm system of claim 3 in which there is a second timing meanscoupled to said gate oscillator, said second timing means being also coupled to said first mentioned timing means to prevent the said output signal from activating said first timing means during the enable mode of said gate oscillator.
5. The voice-operated alarm system of claim 1 in which said last mentioned means is a manually opera-.
ble switch, and said activating means is adapted for use in connection with a clock mechanism upon passage of a predetermined time.
6. The voice-operated alarm system of claim 5 in which said alarm means includes an audio oscillator that produces an intermittent audible sound, and means are provided so that said detection means is disabled during the time that said alarm means is producing an audible sound.
7. The voice-operated alarm system of claim 6 in which the last mentioned means of claim 6 includes a gate oscillator coupled to said audio oscillator and operating in two modes, a disabled mode and an enable mode, said gate oscillator being coupled to said audio oscillator and producing an output to activate said audio oscillator only during the enable mode.
8. The voice-operated alarm system of claim 7 in which there is a second timing means coupled to said gate oscillator, said second timing means being also coupled to said first mentioned timing means to prevent the said output signal from activating said first timing means during the enable mode of said gate oscillator.
9. A voice-operated alarm system for use in connecan audio oscillator and speaker coupled thereto for producing an audible sound, a gate oscillator coupled to the input of said audio oscillatorand operable in two modes, an enable mode and a disable mode, said tone oscillator being activated only when said gate oscillator is in the enable mode, a first timer having one input coupled to the output of said voice microphone and amplifier, a second timer coupled to said gate oscillator and having its output coupled to a second input of said first timer, the inputs to said first timer being gated so as to actuate said first timer only if there are simultaneously signals on both of said inputs, said second timer having two input lines, one coupled to said gate oscillator and the other to said first timer, said inputs being gated so that said second timer produces an output signal only if there are simultaneouslysignals on both of its inputs, and means for activating said system only when said signal is received from said clock mechanism.
10. The voice-operated alarm system of claim 9 in which said means includes a reset switch that holds said gate oscillator in the disable mode until said signal is received from said clock mechanism,
11. The voice-operated alarm system of claim 10 in which said means is manually operable to reset said gate oscillator in the disable mode until a signal is received from said clock mechanism.