Knowles Announces SmartMic Headset Development Kit for Baidu DuerOS

July 12 2018, 01:00
Knowles Corporation announced that it has developed with Baidu and Bestechnic (BES) a new hands-free reference design for headphones, headsets and true wireless earbuds that works with smart devices powered by DuerOS, Baidu’s conversational AI system. The Knowles IA610 SmartMic supports the industry’s lowest-power, always-on voice wake capability to enable Baidu voice service on-the-go for ear worn consumer products.

The new DuerOS Bluetooth Headset Development Kit includes the Knowles IA610 SmartMic, which integrates the Baidu keyword trigger “Xiaodu, Xiaodu,” and works seamlessly with the Bestechnic BES2000i Bluetooth System-on-Chip with the DuerOS Mobile Accessories (DMA) profile driver. The complete end-to-end solution allows always-on voice control for Bluetooth headsets to communicate with an Android or iOS smartphone running the DuerOS mobile phone voice assistant app “Xiaodu Bluetooth.”

Many Bluetooth headsets have not been able to take advantage of always-on voice wake, due to the limited space available for batteries and processors. The IA610 SmartMic enables new always-on voice functionality for Bluetooth headsets with its ultra-low power and breakthrough integration – combining a high-performance MEMS microphone with a state-of-the-art audio DSP into a single, miniature microphone package. The SmartMic, combined with the end-to-end solution developed by Baidu and BES, enables consumers to use voice wake and their Bluetooth headsets to access the depth of Baidu’s voice-enabled offerings such as local app control, information search, navigation, music, news, and other services, all available through the Baidu DuerOS app on their smartphone.

“The Knowles IA610 SmartMic enables an always-on solution not previously possible in Bluetooth headsets,” says Figo Gao, Vice President of Marketing at Bestechnic. “As a leading provider of Bluetooth solutions, our customers demand innovative and value-added solutions, and we are pleased to enable the SmartMic Headset Development Kit for Baidu DuerOS.”

“We are excited to release our voice-enabled SmartMic reference design developed in collaboration with Baidu and Bestechnic,” says Michael Maia, Product Line Vice President at Knowles. “With this design, manufacturers and developers can simply prototype and quickly produce smart headsets that support DuerOS for the ear. The Bluetooth headset market is growing rapidly and with the addition of a natural, personalized user interface, the SmartMic platform will enable the next must-have feature supporting the DuerOS ecosystem.”

DuerOS is now working with over 200 companies and brands, and has been integrated into more than 110 smart devices including speakers, TVs, mobile phones and in-vehicle systems.

“Baidu’s DuerOS incorporates natural speech artificial intelligence into people’s everyday lives, and with the SmartMic Headset Development Kit, our customers can now conveniently access information using an always-on voice interface and their Bluetooth headset,” adds Donghui Jie, Head of DuerOS Application Engineering at Baidu’s Smart Living Group. “Baidu is pleased to partner with innovative companies like Knowles and BES to bring such a compelling solution to market.”

The Knowles IA610 SmartMic integrates a small, low-power, voice-input digital signal processor with Knowles market leading MEMS microphone in a 3.5 x 2.65 x 0.98mm SPH package. All wake word detection, identification of the voice wake word, and local voice command processing is performed in the SmartMic which communicates to the Bluetooth device through a range of interfaces.
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