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Microsoft today announced plans to launch Speech Devices, a software development kit (SDK) for audio processing across multiple channels that can implant speech recognition into hardware devices. Noise cancellation and far-field voice recognition capabilities provided through the SDK will allow developers to build for voice control scenarios like drive-thru ordering systems, in-car assistants, and assistants in other noisy environments.

The service will compete with speech recognition and voice control services commonly made available by Azure or Google Cloud as well as the Alexa Voice Service and Google Assistant SDK.

The Speech Devices SDK follows the release of the Cortana Devices SDK for OEMs to put Microsoft’s AI assistant into new products like the Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker and the GLAS smart thermostat from Johnson Controls.

The news was announced at the annual Microsoft developer conference Build, held May 7-9 at Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington.


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Updates for Azure Bot Service and Azure IoT Edge, a $25 million initiative to use AI to improve the lives of people with disabilities, the release of Project Brainwave on Azure for extremely fast AI, and partnerships with Qualcomm and drone maker DJI were also announced today.

Read Microsoft Build 2018 Stories Here