TreeTalk Intercom Prototype ver. 0.1

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Intercom on the conveyor line

 

For the startup TreeTalk, the summer of 2018 turned out to be really hot, but productive. We moved to Rome, got acquainted with the local innovation ecosystem (the story is still to come), tested the new version of The Terminal One in extreme hot climate conditions. And now this is it – first working version (according to the internal numbering of TreeTalk – ver. 0.1) of a completely new device, code-named Intercom, appeared!

Intercom4

This is the natural development of the overall concept. Since we already have a ready-to-use infrastructure for voice and device management (TreeTalk platform), why not add devices to the product line that are not quite mobile (but more about that later), but also work with voice information and require grouping together with possible topology of the “star” type, with the dispatcher’s computer in the center.

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And here is the very first workable prototype of the product of this series. Externally, it really looks like a door phone or an intercom, and it’s as simple from the outside – the user just press and hold one TT button (TreeTalk or ToTalk, whatever you want) to contact his team or dispatcher. So far, everything seems familiar. But then – the differences begin:

  • TreeTalk Intercom does not require the laying of cable communication lines – it works with existing Wi-Fi, LTE, 3G, 2G, any data transmission networks (depending on the modification chosen). However, on twisted pair it can work too.

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    Old-style Intercom Control Desk – photo by H.stadler
  • TreeTalk Intercom does not require hardware control desk, switches or commutators – it runs on a cloud-based TreeTalk platform, and it’s enough for the user (figuratively speaking) to make a few clicks of the mouse in a convenient and intuitive user web interface to create a group of devices, to make the necessary settings, and to link it to the dispatcher’s program.
  • TreeTalk Intercom is a digital device and the quality of the transmitted speech is also digital.

  • TreeTalk Intercom has useful features – an indication of the incoming message and its  replay (if necessary) or a response on the reverse channel, depending on how the second button is configured.

Where is needed all that? Briefly – everywhere, where constant connection

and voice communication in real time is required – in warehouses, in shops, in offices, workshops and garages, in manufacturing and on the conveyor, on

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Aged Bolinders Teleradio

technological machines and transport, in elevators and basements. And on the doors and gates with access control system, too 🙂 Slightly modified communication modules can be built into ATM, parking meter, self-service kiosk, and so on.

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Loudaphone on Queen Mary – photo by Binksternet

For example, if an ATM swallows a card, or the vending machine is acting up, nowadays you have to find a hotline phone number, to call, to wade through annoying ads and “press 1 for this, press 2 for that”, then explain the problem to the service employee a long while. Instead, simply press a button and talk – TreeTalk connects instantly, and the operator is already known exactly where you are, and probably what happened.

Let’s look into the nearest future. You definitely will see Big Button with Purple TT Sign on the dashboard of self-driving cab, taking you home. Because even if algorithms, controlling the autonomous vehicle, look ideal, always there is a room for surprise in the real life. So the people inside and, maybe, outside the vehicle must have the opportunity of instant voice connection to the dispatcher / control tower / support.

Afterward, imagine a goofy delivery robot obtruding the wrong sort of pizza, which you have not ordered — you just may to push a similar button on it and instantly tell the operator what do you think about Artificial Intelligence.

They say “Hardware is hard”. But anyone who developed hardware from the outline (“from 0 to 1”), will confirm that it’s hard to compare to something th

TreeTalk Intercom 3D model
TreeTalk Intercom 3D model

e feeling, when an idea generates a sketch, then 3D model appears, and now there is something to hold in your hands, and here it WORKS! There will be many tests, iterations, modifications ahead, before the device will be ready for production. But the working capacity of the concept is proofed, the further is just a matter of technology and grind work.

TreeTalk Intercom
TreeTalk Intercom

Field Tests – 2016. Winter.

TreeTalk has conducted regular field tests of the voice terminal prototype.

The terminal is designed for professional control room and group real time communications. In fact, this is a new class of mobile devices, in which the traditional strengths of radio communication (instant connection, broadcasting and simplicity) were coupled with the advantages of modern data networks. The voice signal is digitized, compressed, and transmitted by the Terminal to other similar devices and dispatching computers without loss of quality. Thanks to a specially developed protocol, even low-speed second-generation network, covering 90% of the world population may be used as a transport medium.
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The methodology of the current test was designed to assess the stability of the device and firmware in real operating conditions.
Within 14 days the equipment was tested around the clock in the laboratory. After that, withinIMG_2611_600 7 days the experimental model of the terminal was working in a car that was moving around the city and nearby suburbs in a mode of normal use. Thus, during parking, warm-up and on the move the terminal subjected to temperature extremes from -30 to +20 Celsius (-22 to +68 Fahrenheit). All this time, built-in audit system was recording the slightest failures in the network connection, the electronics and embedded firmware.
Then, a mobile measuring and laboratory benches were installed and the parameters of the speech signal were measured (in particular, the signal-to-noise ratio and frequency response), which describe the intelligibility and voice recognition when it is transferred from the terminal to other terminals or to the control room computer.

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Current testing has been specially planned for the winter period and held in harsh conditions. However, most of the tests completed successfully, clearly confirming the advantages of the TreeTalk terminal  in the reliability and quality of the voice, and the convenience of handling over conventional and trunked radios.
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Users of TT terminals do not need to spend time and effort to obtain radio frequencies, search for a suitable location for the control tower and to install bulky antennas. It will be sufficient to purchase the required number of terminals and combine them into a virtual channel via a simple web interface to start using. TreeTalk LLC specialists believe that their technology, due to the convenience, the digital signal quality and additional features, will soon replace the obsolete analogue radio and will be used wherever you need a reliable, constant and instant voice communication.