Bluetooth dev solution speeds up voice integration for IoT

24th February 2021
Lanna Deamer

Knowles has announced the AISonic Bluetooth Standard Solution, a new, complete development solution that enables fast and easy voice integration to any Bluetooth-connected device. The development kit enables OEM and ODMs to build voice-activated calling, control, and far-field speech recognition capabilities into any Bluetooth device, including smart speakers, smart home locks, connected light switches, wearables, in-vehicle voice assistants, and more.

AISonic Bluetooth Standard Solution is one development package 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 Intelligent Standard Solutions. The kit is built upon Knowles industry-leading AISonic Audio Edge Processor IA8201, which achieves high performance along with the lowest power consumption to enable wake-on-voice functionality in small, battery-operated devices.

“The demand for voice control in all aspects of our lives is growing - smart home device control, such as turning on and off lights or asking our virtual assistant for directions in our car, is becoming commonplace. But the market is fragmented, and with more connected devices coming to market it has become increasingly difficult to quickly integrate voice capabilities that work seamlessly,” said Vikram Shrivastava, Senior Director, IoT Marketing at Knowles.

“Device manufacturers need high quality, mass-market development solutions to bring these capabilities to market quickly and scale to keep up with the fast-evolving way that we are living, working, and communicating. We’ve leveraged Knowles’ audio and voice integration expertise to create a powerful suite of standard solutions for different applications to make it easier for manufacturers to quickly and efficiently add speech recognition and voice capabilities to any device and get to market in a fraction of the time.” 

The AISonic Bluetooth Standard Solution Package balances scalability and flexibility to bring ease of integration across a myriad of embedded platforms. The kit features an IA8201 reference board accompanied with an API supporting integration with any Bluetooth chipset having an embedded MCU running an RTOS, and system firmware release configured to support sensors and pre-integrated microphones from Knowles to enable the highest quality audio capture. The solution has helped Knowles partners to scale further in developing AWS-AVS, Alexa Auto and AVS-AMA solutions on several Bluetooth and embedded MCU platforms.

The opportunities for voice integration have extended from inside homes and buildings to mobile, automotive, wearable, and other accessory applications for on-the-go control. Sugr, a worldwide solution provider well known for its voice algorithm and integration capability has just completed the iOttie Aivo Connect integration with Knowles IA8201.

“Product time to launch is essential in current market competition. Voice User Interface development is even more difficult because it is analog and physical nature,” said Sean Song, CEO of Sugr. “The Knowles Industry Standard Solution streamlined traditional DSP development, integration and optimisation. This framework enabled my team to develop SugrSense Bluetooth AMA module with IA8201 efficiently. The Knowles team’s deep expertise in audio makes our work together on projects such as the iOttie integration, virtually seamless.”

The AISonic Bluetooth Standard Solution also includes algorithms for an Audio Front End suitable for use with many voice assistants or cloud-based ASR APIs. The Knowles OpenDSP partner program allows for many algorithm developers to provide libraries for a Beam Former, omnidirectional voice capture, AEC to sort voice commands from background to meet the stringent false wake standard of AVS.

Retune DSP is part of the Knowles OpenDSP ecosystem and has ported its voice-control solutions, VoiceSpot and VoiceSeeker to the IA8201. VoiceSpot, Retune’s ultracompact wake word engine, enables voice-wake on memory-constrained, always-on, battery operated edge devices, and is Amazon-certified. VoiceSeeker is Retune’s multi-microphone audio front-end preprocessing solution capable for far-field voice control applications. Furthermore, Retune’s Conversa two-way voice communication software solution enables the IA8201 on a number of high performance Bluetooth speakerphones and headphones.

“As voice control has grown over the past few years, we’ve worked closely together with Knowles to deliver our voice-first software solutions for a variety of devices. Knowles Bluetooth Standard Solution is another innovative approach to support the growing voice market and help a broad portfolio of device makers easily implement voice UX. With Retune DSP’s algorithms included, customers can move quickly to deploy a best-in-class voice experience,” said Chris Welsh, Partner at Retune DSP.

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