Santa Clara CA-based speech and vision provider Sensory Inc has brought its speech recognition technology to Bluetooth headphones and headsets.
The VoiceGenie solution gives hands-free voice control of functions, music playback, call handling, and control of smartphone assistants such as Siri or Cortana.
It also supports the "Alexa" wake word and gives hands-free device control and voice-activated access to AI services such as Amazon's Alexa (accessed via a Bluetooth headset).
Alexa can be used by voice through the headset to provide access to Alexa skills -- from controlling your smart home or finding a location for dinner. You do not need to be near an Echo device. The VoiceGenie makes the connection to the Alexa cloud when you say, "Alexa."
It simultaneously listens for "Alexa" or "VoiceGenie." The Alexa voice trigger accesses the Alexa voice services through a handset app for Android and iOS that connects into the cloud.
VoiceGenie controls the Bluetooth device and accesses the phone. It can do things like making or receiving calls by voice, checking batteries or connection strength, and adjusting Bluetooth device settings.
Checking connections, battery strength, settings, or controlling music playback can be made by voice commands. When phone calls come in, VoiceGenie announces who is calling and lets you answer or ignore the call by voice.
The solution targets the growing market for stereo Bluetooth headset systems and other wearable, fitness, and listening devices.
Voice assistants tend to be used in four areas. Primarily used in smartphones, voice activation also appears in the smart home environment, automobiles, and in some wearables.
However, due to form factor and power consumption issues, the wearables market has been the most difficult to integrate with voice assistants.
In the past, there have been technical restrictions such as battery power, connections, and ability to work during noise and music playback.
Sensory uses low-power speech recognition technology in VoiceGenie, which gets around these issues and brings hands-free voice control to headsets and fitness accessories.
Its speech recognition code has been integrated with a music decoder to run in low power on a small Digital Signal Processing (DSP) chip.
Todd Mozer, CEO of Sensory, said: "I have two Amazon Echos in my house and four Alexa devices at work, and it's really cool to be able to sit on a couch or in front of my computer and ask for my step count.
However, I can't use my Echo on a run, which is really when I want hands-free access to my heart rate or step count through Alexa. With VoiceGenie, querying this sort of information through Bluetooth headsets while biking, hiking, jogging and more is now possible."
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