NXP launches Google Android Things modules as voice AI proliferates in smart home

NXP is creating modules so hardware makers can embed Android Things and Google support into multiple devices.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

NXP said that it has developed modules with Google's Android Things platform that can speed up the concept-to-product cadence and add intelligence to multiple devices in the smart home.

The upshot here is that by the holiday shopping season more devices will be able to replicate commands used by Google Home and Amazon's Echo. And that may mean a lot less integration since more home devices, think ceiling fans, will be able to process voice commands on their own.

Ahead of Google I/O, NXP outlined its plans. Leonardo Azevedo, Director of i.MX applications processors at NXP, said the company has been working with customers on developing products to be launched by year end. "Instead of just offering a green grass platform, we focused on a platform that can be rapidly turned into product and work with Google Assistant and built in Android Things," said Azevedo.

Separately, NXP said it is working with Google's IoT efforts in the cloud to support smart city deployments.

"Voice is being more adopted in homes and adoption is only going faster," he added. "We'll be embedding this into products throughout the home." The win for appliance and home goods makers is that NXP's modules can be added on without a lot of design and technology expertise. Google gets Android Things scale, and NXP, which will be part of Qualcomm, gets a big smart home footprint.

Read also: Qualcomm, Google to team up on Android Things, eye Internet of Things apps | Amazon rolls out new Alexa dashboard and device address API | Windows 10: Fast-charging PCs using Galaxy S8 Snapdragon chip out this year (TechRepublic)

Azevedo said NXP has been working with six different customers to launch products into the holiday shopping season with Android Things support. NXP is also a partner for the Amazon Echo.

What about voice command conflicts? Azevedo noted that Google's technology has improved so devices can discern which one you'll be talking to even has multiple endpoints will have voice capability.

"You just want to talk in the house and know voice is embedded. Just think about walking around the house and having it respond with devices talking to each other," Azevedo said.

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