New Headsets Provide Voice Output

Sensory, a provider of embedded speech technologies for consumer products, announced today the availability of BlueGenie Lite, a solution for Bluetooth headsets that focuses exclusively on voice output.

BlueGenie Lite, compatible with Bluetooth devices running on CSR’s BlueCore3 and BlueCore 5 chipsets, replaces the beeps and lights of Bluetooth headsets with a human voice that speaks instructions to the user in languages of his choosing. Current language offerings include major Asian and western European languages. Besides multiple languages, the accent and personality (for instance, a casual teenaged voice can be programmed into the interface) can be calibrated, which allows headset manufacturers to reach as broad a demographic as possible.

The development of BlueGenie Lite anticipates sharp growth in the Bluetooth headset market which, according to Ajit Deosthali, research manager for short range wireless at IDC, is expected to triple over the next two years. In a release, Deosthali characterized intuitive voice control as a "must-have feature."

BlueGenie Lite takes advantage of an intuitive voice menu and prompts to guide user utterances.  Features include redialing the previous callers, storing quick-dial numbers, checking power levels, or re-establishing lost connections. Additionally, the headset can also vocally identify incoming calls during hands-busy, eyes-busy activities like driving.

"There is a lot of interest and demand in the hand-free car kit market," says Sensory president and CEO Todd Mozer. He anticipates future iterations of this technology to incorporate more sophisticated features. Because headsets don’t have enough room for memory, they will connect to a recognizer on a more sophisticated device, such as a mobile phone. "For example, my headset may not have enough power to choose and play a song, but the headset can put out a recognition call to my MP3-enabled phone when I say Find song. The headset calls the recognizer on the phone to search for and play the song. To the user that’s seamless."

To reduce costs, BlueGenie Lite relies on Sensory’s proprietary SX compression and synthesis technology, which is lower in data and processing requirements. BlueGenie Lite is currently available now to headset OEMs.

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