Dictaphone gets network-attached storage patent

Dictaphone Corp. has been awarded a U.S. patent for voice storage technology which it will now incorporate into its Freedom recording system, the Stratford, Connecticut, company announced Monday.

Dictaphone was awarded U.S. patent number 6,418,218 on July 9, for technology that allows voice recordings and data related to the recordings to be stored on any network-attached storage device, Dictaphone said in a statement.

As part of its Freedom recording system, the patented technology is aimed at companies that will benefit from keeping records of voice recordings that can also be easily accessed, such as contact centers, financial services companies and public safety centers, the company said.

Recorded voice information can be archived to a removable storage device, such as magnetic tape, magneto-optical storage devices or DVD, and then made accessible over any LAN/WAN (local area network/wide area network), Internet or intranet system, using any multimedia PC. The recordings can also be compressed into .wav audio file formats and sent or received by e-mail, according to Dictaphone's patent filing located on the U.S. Patent Office Web site.

The technology allows the user to create new voice records, merge call records and establish a database with call information for each created record. Those voice recordings can be stored with identifier information in a database at unique record addresses, Dictaphone said.

The system supports different file access protocols, including the standard FTP (File Transfer Protocol), the UNIX-based NFS (Network File System) and Microsoft Corp.'s SMB (Server Message Block) protocols.

As an example of the technology's use, police that monitor calls to emergency services in a particular area can make information about such calls immediately available to the public, including the news media, over police-run Web servers. Individual emergency service calls can be stored while also giving selected users access to data files corresponding to the call, for free or for a fee.

The electronics for the voice recording, what Dictaphone calls the "telecom stage" because the voice information can be recorded using standard telephone lines, would need to be on site, but the actual equipment for recording, storing and distributing the information can be physically located elsewhere, saving on space in such cramped places as broker exchange floors, Dictaphone said.

And because the system allows cabling to the recorder to be reduced, companies will save money through lower installation costs, Dictaphone said. Security is also a key component: at the telecom stage, encryption algorithms can be applied so that data is protected.

According to the patent information, John Henits, vice president of product planning and development for Dictaphone's communications recording systems group, was the chief inventor of the multistage data logging system.

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