Vesper Microphones Powers Innovative Line of Voice-Activated Trash Cans

January 7 2019, 00:35
Vesper announced that its piezoelectric MEMS microphones will be embedded in the voice-activated sensor trash can from luxury housewares designer simplehuman. The brand will introduce the next-generation of its voice-activated Sensor Can range at CES 2019, providing an excellent example of an implementation that needs to be low-cost, low-power, self-contained, and robust in any environmental conditions. It needs to support simple voice controls in any circumstance, in exactly the type of product that users appreciate not having to touch.

Vesper's microphones are part of the latest integrations featured in simplehuman's new Sensor Can with voice control, launching in late February 2019. The can offers a touch-free experience via motion sensor and voice controls. Users just say, "open can," and the lid opens automatically, removing friction during messy kitchen tasks. Three microphones triangulate sound for far-field voice recognition accuracy, even in loud, busy environments. 

simplehuman was founded in 2000 with the mission to reinvent the trash can. Today the Los Angeles-based company has expanded its vision to design "tools for efficient living" with more than 150 patented innovations. The simplehuman collection has received international design recognition and is available now at a wide array of retailers and at

“We're always looking for ways to improve our products with quality materials and innovative technology," says simplehuman CEO and Founder Frank Yang. "Vesper's microphones provide the best low-power solution for our sensor cans, while increasing the accuracy of the voice recognition sensor. This effortless way to control the can further increases efficiency in the kitchen."

Vesper's piezoelectric MEMS microphones are designed to withstand real-world use in connected devices, such as contact with water, oil, beer, dust and particle contaminants, making them perfectly suited for the kitchen. They're high-performance and enable acoustically rich experiences for any application — from sensor trash cans to wearables to IoT devices and even connected automobiles. They allow batteries to last longer due to Vesper's proprietary ZeroPower Listening, since it consumes virtually no power until turned on via a wake-word like simplehuman's "open can" command.

“Battery-powered electronic devices are everywhere," said Vesper CEO Matt Crowley. "The problem is that consumers still need to activate them using touch. By partnering with simplehuman, we're removing physical contact with kitchen gadgets, redefining the concept of the smart home as we know it. Embedding Vesper's microphones in a such a core component of human life – the trash can – is further proof that voice-interface devices are practical in any environment and can make our everyday lives easier."

For the second consecutive year, Vesper has been named a CES Best of Innovation Honoree by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), this time for its innovative VM2020 microphone, available mid-2019. The annual CES Innovation Awards program celebrates outstanding product design and engineering in brand-new consumer technology products.

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simplehuman also incorporated DSP Group’s advanced SmartVoice technology running Sensory’s TrulyHandsfree SW into the sensor's trash can with voice control. The trash cans open up to requests of "Open can" and can be verbally instructed to close or stay open for longer tasks.

“We chose DSP Group because they offer the most advanced solution for voice communications, with support for the ultra-low power voice commands and advanced pre-processing far-field algorithms. It was an essential component for the performance of speech recognition in our sensor cans,” says Guy Cohen, director of electronics engineering at simplehuman. “We take pride in using the best materials and technology in our products. By integrating DSP Group’s technology into our latest designs, it has improved the performance and overall user experience.”

“TrulyHandsfree is an extremely flexible solution that can enable voice control and wake words on products with nearly any kind of power requirements,” says Bernie Brafman, VP of business development at Sensory. “By working with DSP Group, we’re able to deeply embed TrulyHandsfree on their ultra-low power DSPs and enable always-listening wake words and voice control on battery-powered products with no noticeable effect on battery life—ideal for products like simplehuman’s new voice-enabled trash can.” | |
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