Speech Technology Magazine

 

Conexant Expands Collaboration with Amazon to Bring Alexa to More Devices

Conexant's four-mic development kit will help users prototype and develop high-performance far-field devices with Amazon Alexa.
Posted May 4, 2017
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Conexant, a provider of audio and voice technology, has released a four-microphone version of its AudioSmart Development Kit for Alexa Voice Service (AVS) to help device-makers integrate Amazon's voice-enabled Alexa virtual assistant into their products.

Conexant has added its Smart Source Locator (SSL) technology to the the four-microphone solution, enabling voice processors to focus in on the direction from where the user's voice is coming. Combining SSL with Conexant's Smart Source Pickup (SSP) with 360-degree noise suppression translates to higher speech recognition accuracy.

"We're excited to continue our work with Conexant as they offer another quality solution for device makers looking to integrate with Alexa," said Priya Abani, director of Alexa Voice Service, in a statement. "Conexant's new AudioSmart 4-mic Development Kit for Amazon AVS broadens the selection of reference solutions available to OEMS, speeding up time to market and making it easier to integrate AVS into their products."

The core component of the AudioSmart 4-mic Development Kit for Amazon AVS is Conexant's AudioSmart CX20924 Voice Input Processor running Conexant's far-field voice pre-processing software technology. Conexant's far-field voice input processor focuses on the user's voice and removes echoes and noise from the audio signal. Additionally, the AudioSmart four-mic Development Kit for Amazon AVS comes equipped with Conexant's CX22721 Low Power Audio Playback CODEC that can power small speakers and be tuned for optimal audio quality for music and Alexa voice prompts.

Beyond prototyping, Conexant provides third-party manufacturers with hardware, voice pre-processing software technology, and engineering support. Key benefits of the Conexant AudioSmart CX20924 Voice Input Processor include the following:

  • Robust far-field voice interaction with four microphones;
  • Proprietary Smart Source Locator technology identifies the direction from which the user's voice is coming;
  • Enhanced Smart Source Pickup noise suppression technology; and
  • Voice barge-in enabled by full duplex acoustic echo cancellation to detect the Alexa wake word even when the device is playing music or voice prompts loudly.

"As proven over the last few months by the explosive growth in third-party devices with Amazon Alexa featuring Conexant's voice processing solutions, the voice revolution is in full swing," said Saleel Awsare, president of Conexant, in a statement. "We are excited to further fuel this growth by working with Amazon to expand our offering of development kits that make it easier, faster and more cost-effective to prototype and develop new devices with Alexa. Our 4-mic development kit addresses the various challenges associated with creating voice-enabled devices, cutting required engineering time down significantly."

Among the products recently incorporated into the Amazon Alexa ecosystem is C by GE Sol, a smarthome lighting product from GE.

Additionally, Seamless, the food ordering and delivery platform, this week launched its Reorder with Seamless Alexa skill. The new integration lets Seamless customers reorder food from more than 50,000 restaurants nationwide using voice commands through their Alexa-enabled devices, such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, Amazon Fire TV, or Fire tablet.

"We're always evolving the ordering process to adapt to the on-the-go lifestyle of our busy New York diners," said Sudev Balakrishnan, senior vice president of product at Grubhub, parent company of Seamless, in a statement. "The new Alexa skill will delight diners with the added convenience of quickly reordering some of their favorite meals, using only their voice."


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