SBIR and STTR Success Story for
Planning Systems Incorporated

(Information Posted/Updated on 01/29/2005)

Planning Systems Incorporated
12030 Sunrise Valley Drive
Suite 400, Reston Plaza I
Reston, VA  20191-3453

Contact:    Scott Shaw
Phone:      703-788-7765
Fax:          703-390-5084
Web Site:

Project Title:  Hybrid Adaptive Beamformer (HAB)
Related Award(s):  1R43AG013515-01, 5R44AG013515-03, 1R43DC004481-01
Technology Developed:
Hybrid Adaptive Beamformer, or HAB, is a directional listening technology that can be used to determine the direction of origin of sounds, isolate particular sounds in a cluttered environment, or improve performance of audio applications by removing unwanted background noise. HAB combines the output of multiple microphones to form one or more “listening beams” which focus on sounds from a preferred direction, while reducing or eliminating background noise or unwanted sounds from other directions. Applications include automatic speech recognition, hearing enhancement, consumer or military headsets, and communications devices.

Key Words:  array, speech intelligibility, microphone, speech in noise, microphone, beamformer.
Uses of Technology/Products/Service:
HAB was originally developed to improve speech intelligibility in noise for hearing aid wearers. In our research, using the Hearing in Noise Test, we found that while using a single HAB-enabled device, hearing aid and cochlear implant users could understand speech in noise as well as unaided normal hearing individuals could understand the same material, listening binaurally. HAB has many additional applications, and can be used to improve the performance of the multitude of audio-input applications that are focused on picking up sounds from a particular direction. For example, HAB can support accurate speech recognition without the need for a headset. The technology can also be used to support high-resolution direction finding. PSI has applied the technology to a variety of low-power small form-factor devices for military and commercial applications including hearing aids, cochlear implants, voice-control and voice-input for PDAs, covert listening, acoustic gunshot detection and location, and streaming audio for a micro-unmanned aerial vehicle.

Benefit to Company:
We have successfully transitioned HAB as originally developed for NIH to a variety of public and private sector applications, and we have licensed the technology for a commercial product to be released shortly. The US Army supported development of a speech-enabled PDA for battlefield medicine, using HAB to provide robust automatic speech recognition, with contracts in 2002 and 2003 totaling $2,400,000. Support is current and follow-on is expected. The US Army supported development of a specialized listening device in 2002 with contracts totaling approximately $330,000. The US Air Force supported development of a micro-miniature audio sensor for the BATCAM Unmanned Aerial Vehicle with a contract totaling $20,000. The US Army supported development of a sniper detection device in 2004 with a contract for $64,000. At least $500K follow-on for this application is expected to develop a fieldable device. These projects have provided revenue for the company, increased our SBIR commercialization score, and provided funding to further improve and adapt the technology to new application areas.

How Product Was Commercialized:
HAB was commercialized by seeking new and innovative applications of the core technology to new fields of use. We leveraged our existing network of Department of Defense customers, as well as identifying potential commercial sector partners who could benefit from the technology.

Other Comments Related to Company's Success Story:
We are seeking additional applications and licensing opportunities in commercial and public markets and expect to see additional success with HAB technology.

Past R&D and/or Sales from this Project:   $3.8 M
Estimated Future Annual R&D and/or Sales from this Project:   $2.9 M