The power of voice: A new era for TV enthusiasts everywhere

The power of voice: A new era for TV enthusiasts everywhere 900 506 XMOS

Today we launched the next generation of voice technology that’s designed to drive the voice-enabled TV market forward and transform how we search and discover content.

Futuresource Consulting forecasts that nearly 700 million new smart speaker, smart TV, set-top box and smart home devices will ship in 2019, and voice assistants will be built into an increasing number of them. Built-in voice interfaces have attracted a lot of attention from manufacturers, but cost and integration complexity concerns pushed the early voice implementations towards ‘Alexa compatible’ and ‘Push to Talk’ solutions. However, people are switching on to the power of voice and the trend is set to rise over the coming years – which is bringing manufacturers back to the ‘built-in’ solution, because it delivers a more relaxed, intuitive experience.

XMOS’ new technology presents a real opportunity for manufacturers to bring a compelling voice control experience to the masses, effectively and economically.

When the TV in your living room offers far-field voice capture that works with close range precision (i.e. you can just tell it what you’d like to watch from anywhere in the room),  the remote control and push-to-talk voice experience starts to feel outdated. Voice-control unshackles us from hierarchical menus and never-ending pages of content, freeing us from push-button and touch-based interfaces. Whilst we may still need the remote control to switch between different hardware, the ability to just say: “Alexa, play Friends series two, episode three” or even “Alexa, find the pivot episode in Friends”  provides a much richer search experience. And it’s easy to see how voice control is perfect for TVs and set-top boxes – and how far-field makes that a more natural, conversational interaction.

The XMOS solution

Our new XVF3510 two-mic voice processor is designed with our modern living spaces in mind. Our new VocalFusion algorithms work intelligently to analyse the acoustic environment, detecting and isolating a voice command from every other sound in the room (including any media streaming through the device itself or other devices nearby), making it ideal for smart home devices and integration into smart TVs and set-top boxes. And with a price tag of just $0.99, it hurdles the cost barrier nicely.

Simon Bryant, Research Director at Futuresource Consulting said: “The strong adoption in multimedia and entertainment is expected to continue and this new device from XMOS addresses what manufacturers who want to add far-field voice control to their product lines will be looking for.”

The XVF3510 offers a clear incentive for manufacturers to move beyond the world of push-to-talk, ‘Alexa compatible’ and touch-based control interfaces. With that, we’ll start to see the real power of voice emerge.

For further technical details, the full product brief can be found here.

The XVF3510 will enter general distribution in August 2019. Developers can request a dev kit from XMOS here.