Harman Implements DSP Group’s SmartVoice Technology for their Sonique Total Voice Solution

February 20 2018, 03:00
Voice UI chipset specialist DSP Group, and Harman International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, announced their cooperation implementing voice input technology, based on DSP Group’s SmartVoice Audio/voice SoC and HDClear far-field multi-mic algorithms. The cooperation will enable expanding Harman's Sonique Total Voice Solution platform into a new generation of voice-enabled products.

DSP Group’s SmartVoice SoC with HDClear voice enhancement algorithms will become an important element of Harman’s Sonique Far Field Voice Input solution portfolio. Sonique is a total voice solution that includes customizable, high performance microphone arrays, a suite of voice algorithms to accurately capture voice commands even in high ambient noise environments, full stack integration with popular natural voice engines, and low distortion speakers.

The cooperation with DSP Group will be for a unique three-mic configuration. This robust configuration is intended primarily for consumer electronics applications, such as a home hub, which can be easily integrated into a music devices, TV set-top boxes, or internet routers.

Parks Associates research shows that 41% of consumers in U.S. broadband households use a voice assistant application or device. “Companies are creating a world of devices that can be commanded naturally with the simplicity of a vocal command already,” says Dina Abdelrazik, Research Analyst at Parks Associates, “Improvements in the underlying technology, such as enhanced far-field capabilities, will lead to a better experience for voice-first activities. For instance, Parks Associates data reveal that 43% of people already use voice control to stream music while 14% use it to control a smart home device. These activities rely on an accurately captured vocal command by a device’s microphone.”

Harman is expecting the market for devices with voice input capability to exceed $7 billion by 2024. Tremendous growth in voice-controlled devices is expected in several areas, including home hubs, conferencing, healthcare, and robotics. Harman's Sonique voice solution was originally presented to the market in mid 2017 to create an integration platform with natural voice engines and expand the company's plans in the global growth of voice activated devices. Sonique already supports Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana and is expected to integrate with other natural voice engines, such as Baidu, Iflytech, Google Assistant, SoundHound, and Siri in the near future.

Sonique is available in multiple configurations for specific use-cases, starting with a two-mic solution intended primarily for consumer electronics applications, designed for high quality voice inputs at distances up to 4 meters (12 feet). There is also a four-mic solution, designed for premium home applications, enterprise applications, and robotics, supporting voice inputs at distances up to 6 meters (18 feet). Another configuration is a seven-mic solution, designed for high performance applications, featuring a suite of high performance algorithms, and allowing voice inputs at distances up to 8 meters (24 feet) with high ambient noise. An initial application for the platform is the recently announced Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker with Microsoft Cortana.

“By leveraging DSP Group’s SmartVoice technology, Harman will be able to quickly add a best-in-class voice-user interface to the Sonique portfolio of mic arrays for enhanced accuracy in high noise environments,” comments Dave Rogers, President of Harman's  Lifestyle Audio SBU. “Our customers expect the highest level of technology from our products. Working with DSP Group allows us to deliver our promise of an excellent user experience.”

“We are excited to collaborate with a market-leader like Harman, through our voice processing expertise,” adds Ofer Elyakim, CEO of DSP Group. “We look forward to a very successful collaboration and see a perfect fit between our core competencies.”
www.dspg.com | harman.com | www.embedded.harman.com
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