Qualcomm targets smart home and connected vehicle in CES launches


LG's previously announced ThinQ smart speaker with Google Assistant was built off this new Smart Audio Platform.

We recently saw it appear in the gorgeous Johnson Controls JCI Glas thermostat and Qualcomm has announced the Smart Audio platform that will support Cortana in the future, suggesting we may eventually see home hubs similar to the Lenovo Smart Display, but powered by Cortana instead. The Qualcomm® Smart Audio Platform is created to help accelerate and redefine the development process for smart and networked speakers.

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As part of a wider push on smart voice services, the chipmaker is expanding its mesh networking platform to include support for voice recognition. Qualcomm's platform, which already supports Amazon Alexa and Google technologies comes with all the hardware and software required for creating a smart speaker: that includes support for high-resolution audio, far field voice capabilities, wireless charging and even on-device display support. 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.

In addition to reference designs, Microsoft today announced that Cortana is able to work with devices from popular brands such as Honeywell, Ecobee, LIFX, and TP-Link Kasa to power things like smart lightbulbs, thermostats, and plugs.

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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. That's right, Qualcomm now has a kit and reference for smart speakers, where a smart speaker maker can easily make a smart speaker and choose which assistant they want on board. Dedicated SoCs will make the job easier for the OEMs.

The reference design for the network now features the Qualcomm Aqstic Audio Codec, allowing voice-based applications to communicate over the mesh network.

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