Feature Article

January 07, 2014

Always-on Speech Recognition Makes Mobile Devices Even Easier to Use

Plenty of today's most well known devices use some manner of voice control technology for hands-free interaction. However, most of these devices still require users to directly flip a switch or use some other mechanism to alert their mobile device that they are indeed talking to it. However, this problem could be solved by accurate, always-on voice command technology developed by Audience.

Audience is a quiet Californian company that manufactures the voice and audio processors in many popular devices, like Samsung's Galaxy S4 phone and the Google Nexus 10 tablet. At this year's CES convention in Las Vegas, Audience announced their newest line of audio processors and codecs: the eS700 series. These processors don't need to be told twice that they need to listen up, since they are designed to always be on and waiting for a voice command. For example, if your smartphone were sitting next to you on your desk, you could simply ask it to play music by your favorite artist, or play the latest episode of a TV show.

One of the best features of the eS700 family is the low power consumption. Requiring less than one milliamp of current to run, the chip will barely make a dent in the battery life of the tablets and smartphones that run it. The company has also reportedly upgraded the processors to operate within noisy environments reliably and accurately, since it will filter out non-speech input.

Always-on voice control means that mobile devices can truly become hands-free. Not only does this make using a phone while driving both safe and convenient, but it's also a boon for anyone that wants to use their phone while doing dishes, taking a shower or even changing dirty diapers. While Audience may not be the first company to create always-on voice control technology, the combination of power usage, reliability, and the ability to interperet smart decisions makes the eS700 something to definitely look forward to.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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