Qualcomm releases industry-first smart speaker platform supporting Microsoft Cortana

Image Credit Khari Johnson

The mesh network platform now also integrates the Microsoft Cortana digital assistant and can support smart home devices such as speakers and lightbulbs.

In addition, the Smart Audio Platform, which provides the tools for OEMs to build their own smart speaker devices will begin to support Microsoft's Cortana and Google's Android Things in the first half of 2018. The company also released a smart speaker development kit based on the Smart Audio Platform.

The company is counting on the partnerships to achieve that by getting the virtual assistant onto more devices.

Qualcomm also introduced a reference platform comprising the hardware and software required to build smart speakers based on the Amazon Alexa Voice Service and a new smart speaker development kit based on its Smart Audio Platform.

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Interestingly, the development kit offers a reference design for smart speaker devices.

In addition to the convenience of the Google Assistant, devices based on the Android Things Qualcomm Home Hub platforms can utilize additional Google cloud-based services to provide consumers with meaningful information and superb entertainment. The Home Hub platform comes in two version of chipsets, the ultra-powerful SDA624 SoC that will be a better fit for devices that feature video cameras or displays while the SDA212 SoC is tailor-made for audio devices. It's engineered to help developers and audio manufacturers simplify the development of smart speaker products, at a range of price points. "Demand for voice control and assistance in the home is rapidly gaining traction, and this platform is created to offer great flexibility for manufacturers wanting to deliver highly differentiated user experiences taking advantage of the power of Google cloud-based services".

Many speaker manufacturers see the opportunity in delivering smart speaker products, but may not have all the technical resource in-house to develop a connected platform. Qualcomm's penetration into the smart home segment could result in more manufacturers delving into the arena.