Voice Control Technology Has Become the Main Battlefield for Smart Home

People are eagerly looking forward to the intelligent family supporting voice control. Since... Well, maybe in the Star Trek: the next generation album, Captain Jean Luc Picard sat in his cabin and said "count black tea, hot!" to the computer of Starship Enterprise?

Thirty years later (editor's note: the Star Trek series premiered in the United States in 1987), smart home technology seems to be preparing to break through the challenge of voice control - with major manufacturers including Amazon, apple, Google and Microsoft competing to take the lead in this field.

Why now? Thanks to the rise of the Internet of things (IOT), which has become a solid foundation for a truly interconnected electronic device ecosystem in a smart home; In that ecosystem, voice provides an intuitive interface that can easily manipulate all communication with electronic devices (and between devices).

Whether it's Amazon echo, Google assistant, Microsoft Cortana, or apple homekit equipped with Siri, voice control has become the smart home ecosystem center that major technology manufacturers are trying to build; Before the advent of voice control, people had to control all kinds of smart home electronic devices through mobile phone applications (APPs), but there was one exclusive app for smart thermostat and another for smart air conditioner... The apps of each device were different, and its disadvantages became more and more obvious with the increase of the number of devices,

Voice control can break the limitations of mobile app control mode and provide a common ground that can access almost unlimited number of electronic devices, which can communicate with each other through the Internet of things. (the voice interface has fully expanded its territory. Google pointed out in February 2016 that the number of voice search has doubled between December.)

Today's voice control technology has gone beyond your imagination: wake up by the alarm clock in the morning. You don't have to press it anymore. Just say, "I'm awake!" to make it quiet; Then you can ask, "what's the weather like today?" you can get weather information without turning on the weather app on your mobile phone... Then you get out of bed and go to the kitchen. The coffee machine has started to work because it knows that you have to drink a cup of coffee every morning.

Or one day, on your way to work, you forget to thaw the dinner ingredients first, and you can't contact the other half who will go home first. Just pick up your mobile phone and send a voice command to the smart home device: "remind so and so to take out the chicken in the freezer first when they go home at noon!" the smart home device will immediately convey your message when your other half returns home.

For companies such as Amazon, apple, Google and Microsoft, the most important question is who can take the lead in the voice control smart home... Each company has its own unique voice control skills. Therefore, who is the winner depends on whose technology is important to the device manufacturer, It is the easiest to break into the smart home ecosystem - such as through open APIs or other interconnection technologies.

Smart home device manufacturers themselves may not have expertise or a little knowledge of professional and complex voice control technology; Hard design engineers often need to help these intelligent home devices design the voice control components. When these devices are linked to the private home network, they also need more advanced security technology to ensure that personal privacy is not leaked.

Semiconductor industry is a bridge to bridge the knowledge gap between large manufacturers of voice control solutions and intelligent home device manufacturers. They are also the designers of processors to realize the integration of complex voice functions and intelligent home devices; It is estimated that by 2021, the global shipment of intelligent devices supporting voice control will reach 120 million, and we are ready for this.

Of course, you can expect every major technology company to find a place in the field of smart home. The real problem is who will be the leader? Who can gain market advantage? Maybe we can't get the answer yet, but obviously we must master the infrastructure that is easy to join. For smart home manufacturers who actively want to enter this field, careful selection of semiconductor supplier partners is very important!

Compiled by: Judith Cheng

(refer to the original text: Smart Home: the race to control the space, by Martyn Humphries; the author is the vice president of consumer and industrial processor Department of NXP semiconductor)

Voice Control Technology Has Become the Main Battlefield for Smart Home 1

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