The Knowles Corporation has announced the creation of a new hands-free solution, enabling original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original design manufacturers (ODMs) to build headphones, headsets and wireless earbuds that allow users to talk directly to Alexa.
The Knowles AISonic SmartMic Headset Development Kit for the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) enables customers to play music, place calls, access skills and more, hands-free, simply by saying the Alexa wake word. The kit “includes the Knowles AISonic IA611 SmartMic, which integrates a low-power, audio-edge processor inside a tiny microphone. All wake-word detection … and local voice-command processing is performed in the SmartMic, and interfaces [with] the Bestechnic BES2000i Bluetooth System-on-Chip,” according to a press release.
“Anker is committed to providing affordable, high-quality devices that consumers love,” said Rock Gao, general manager of headphone BG at Anker, in the press release. “The growth of Amazon Alexa in the market creates a great opportunity for innovative accessories, and the Knowles AISonic SmartMic Headset Development Kit for Amazon AVS will speed our time-to-market, and help us meet the growing demand for true wireless earbuds and headset solutions with Alexa built in.”
Bluetooth headsets built with the kit can connect directly to the AVS via the Alexa app for Android and iOS. End users who install the Alexa app can access Alexa features, including music playback, smart home control, calendar management, tens of thousands of Alexa skills and more — hands-free.
“Our voice-enabled AISonic SmartMic Headset Development Kit for Amazon AVS is redefining the Alexa user experience for ear-worn consumer products,” said Michael Maia, product line VP at Knowles. “This design provides the first turnkey wake-on-voice, AVS-qualified platform for Alexa-enabled headsets and hearables, enabling manufacturers and developers to quickly integrate Alexa into their smart headsets, and eliminate inconvenient push-to-talk interfaces. The Bluetooth headset market is growing rapidly, and, with the addition of a natural user interface, the AISonic SmartMic platform — with our leading-edge, audio-edge processor — enables the next must-have feature in true wireless earbuds, sports, neckband and over-the-ear headsets.”