Voice Control Device Incorporated in Android Smartphones

August 02, 2011 / Russell Legato, Residential Property Analyst

Smartphones, including Android, Bluetooth devices and household and car consumer electronics will have an increased capability as software solutions company Sensory, Inc. has released the TrulyHandsfree Voice Control 2.0 with “improved” accuracy and expanded voice interaction capabilities.

Voice Control Device Incorporated in Android Smartphones

TrulyHandsfree 1.0 issued the single voice trigger technology, used for initial voice activation in several devices. TrulyHandsfree 2.0 builds upon this with multiple phrase technology that recognizes, analyzes and responds to dozens of keywords, enabling a voice user interface that is more natural and intuitive.

The voice control device has already been adopted by companies like BlueAnt, Mattel, Kensington, Plantronics, Motorola, and Samsung to improve the user interface in their products including smartphones, Bluetooth headsets and car speakerphones, and toys.

In October 2010, Sensory released the Android and iPhone software development kits (SDK’s) that enable smart phones and smart pads to be used in a completely handsfree fashion without ever touching the device. The SDKs were said to enable application developers to tap into Sensory’s Truly Handsfree Trigger, a unique and industry-proven voice technology that makes devices and applications come alive with a spoken magic word that wakes the device up for voice control and voice search functions.

Sensory provides low power and noise tolerant key word spotting technology for handsfree access to data and other information that can be voice searched in the clouds.

With its “improved accuracy”, TrulyHandsfree 2.0 consistently recognizes phrases even when embedded in sentences and surrounded by noise. Sensory said Smartphones, Bluetooth devices and consumer electronics for the home and the car will benefit from these new capabilities, now available for Android, while other platforms are under review.

According to Sensory, accuracy concerns have prevented mass adoption of voice trigger technology.

“The risk of false fires must be eliminated so the device doesn’t mistakenly activate when human speech or other sounds are heard and misrecognized as the trigger.

“Furthermore, performance should remain reliable in the noisiest of environments like cars or crowded living rooms…TrulyHandsfree 2.0 has proven to consistently and accurately respond in loud settings and has decreased false fires by 60% over TrulyHandsfree 1.0 which was already known as the industry’s best performing key word spotting technology.”

TrulyHandsfree 2.0 can be always-on and listening for dozens of keywords that will activate the device to be controlled via further voice commands. These keywords or phrases can be spoken in the middle of a sentence so users are not confined to a forced dialogue. In this scenario, consumers are communicating in a more human-like fashion, without the distraction and inconvenience of button presses.

With TrulyHandsfree Voice Control, users are not required to hold the device to their mouth to deliver commands. The technology can respond to commands delivered as far as 20 feet away or in high noise conditions, allowing users to control devices at home while multitasking or in the car where they need to focus on driving.

“Speech technology is experiencing dramatic growth due to the rise of cloud computing and internet connected devices that enable complex voice searches and text-to-speech for data retrieval,” Sensory said.

“Yet these server-based voice capabilities cannot be accessed truly handsfree without a client-side, voice trigger technology.”

Certain use cases like having a recipe read aloud from a tablet while cooking or accessing directions without button pressing from a navigation device can be possible with a hybrid client/cloud approach that taps TrulyHandsfree technology.

“Speech technology is being integrated in more solutions than ever before but many of these applications require button pushes, defeating the purpose of a voice user interface,” said Todd Mozer, CEO of Sensory.

“Personal electronics in the car and home will particularly benefit from Sensory’s TrulyHandsfree Voice Control. Think of the way a remote control is used. You don’t get up to turn on the TV and then sit down to change channels.

“Consumers want convenience, every step of the way. And in the car, the convenience is nice, but the real issue is safety because you shouldn’t have to take your eyes off the road and hands off the wheel to activate voice recognition.”

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