Wireless

Development kit to bring voice control to smart home appliances

1st June 2021
Lanna Deamer

Knowles Corporation has announced the AISonic White Goods Standard Solution, a new, complete development solution that enables fast and easy voice integration for smart home appliances. The development kit enables OEM and ODMs to build voice-activated control and far-field speech recognition capabilities into smart appliances, including refrigerators, ovens and microwaves, clothes washing and drying machines, vacuums, dishwashers, and more. The Knowles White Goods Standard Solution was used by Samsung in its FamilyHub connected hub for smart appliances.

The AISonic White Goods Standard Solution is a development package built upon Knowles’ AISonic Audio Edge Processor IA8201 for the most accurate contextual audio and sensing, and includes an IA8201 reference board accompanied by an API supporting integration with Application Processors, or MCUs or RF chipsets, a system firmware release configured to support sensors, and pre-integrated microphones from Knowles to enable high quality audio capture and high signal-to-noise ratio.

The Knowles White Goods Standard Solution supports voice service interoperability, allowing multiple voice assistants to be integrated into a single device and enabling customers to talk to the service of their choice in a secure manner by simply saying its name. This enables the Knowles White Goods Standard Solution to be integrated into a broader ecosystem of smart appliance devices, allowing for greater product development freedom and innovation.

The smart appliance market is one of the fastest growing verticals in the smart home, with voice control representing a critical technology feature supporting it. According to research from SAR Insight, over 66M voice processors for smart appliances are expected to ship by 2024, representing a CAGR of 55% between 2019 and 2024.

“As the smart home appliance market matures and continues to expand, support for voice interfaces is expected to become a highly requested feature that consumers look for in new appliances,” said Vikram Shrivastava, Senior Director, IoT Marketing at Knowles. “The ability to ask your refrigerator to read aloud your grocery inventory, play a recipe video while cooking, or ask your oven to pre-heat while you prepare dinner, all contribute to the user experience but often, OEMs and ODMs face reduced power and memory constraints when adding voice capabilities.

"These constraints can have an impact on usability - the AISonic Audio Edge Processor removes this friction by providing high performance in a small size, with high efficiency, privacy and compute power enabling customers to design modern products with far-field voice processing functionality for accurate listening. We also have an ecosystem of hardware system integrators that have developed modules to integrate with legacy appliance control boards.”

The AISonic White Goods Standard Solution also includes algorithms for an Audio Front End suitable for use with Amazon Alexa assistants and other cloud-based ASR APIs through the Knowles OpenDSP partner program. Knowles integration partner, Sensory Inc. provided the wake word engine for the White Goods Solution, enabling Amazon-certified voice wake and far-field voice recognition for memory-constrained smart appliances.

“The smart home and appliance market continues to be a major opportunity, but it has also become highly-competitive - support for voice can be a major product differentiator,” said Joe Murphy, VP of Marketing, Sensory Inc. “Working with Knowles, we are excited to provide Sensory’s VoiceHub and TrulyHandsfree wake word engine for OEMs and ODMs to develop and deploy voice support for new smart appliance applications that perform efficiently and provide the best user experience.”

The Knowles White Goods Standard Solution is one of several options available under Knowles’ new line of reference solutions for voice activation, control, and contextual audio processing for TVs, portable speakers, soundbars, whitegoods, and a wide range of IoT electronics, known as Knowles Industry Standard Solutions.

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