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Qualcomm launched its mesh networking platform for Internet of Things communication in May 2017. Now the world’s biggest mobile chip designer is expanding the capabilities of mesh networking with voice recognition from Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant.
The integration of Cortana and Qualcomm’s own Aqstic audio codec technology will make it easy to create voice-driven experiences with smart home devices from speakers to smoke detectors. It’s all a part of the Internet of Things, or making everyday objects smart and connected. That’s a big theme at CES 2018, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas this week, and market researcher Gartner forecasts we’ll have 20 billion connected things by 2020. Amazon’s Alexa is also being integrated.
Qualcomm wants manufacturers of smart products to leverage mesh networking for communication with devices such as smart speakers, smoke detectors, security systems, and smart light bulbs. Asus is launching Lyra Voice, the first product that will use voice-enabled tech from the Qualcomm Mesh Networking Platform.
Qualcomm said that consumers are expecting to interact with devices through voice commands in their connected homes. To drive that, Qualcomm is building the capability into its platform, and it is providing a reference design — which manufacturers can take to create their own designs — with tech such as six-microphone beamforming, echo cancellation, and noise suppression. That results in better voice quality and recognition.
With Cortana embedded in devices, people will be able to handle tasks such as sending emails and managing calendars with voice commands. They can also perform home automation tasks like playing music, getting answers, listening to news, and querying about the weather.
“Mesh Wi-Fi systems have not only transformed the concept of whole home connectivity, but they are providing consumers with a new level of control over all devices in their smart homes,” said Gopi Sirineni, vice president of product management at Qualcomm, in a statement.
Qualcomm is partnering with companies such as Lunera, Origin Wireless, and Cognitive Systems on mesh networking.