Voice control technology has become a smart home for the main battlefield

People are eagerly awaiting smart homes that support voice control, since...well, maybe in the "Star Trek: The Next GeneraTIon" album, Captain Jean-Luc Picard sits on his own In the cabin, the computer of the Starship Enterprise said "earl black tea, hot!" At that time?

Thirty years have passed (Editor's note: The Star Trek album was first released in the United States in 1987), and smart home technology seems to be preparing to break through the voice control challenge – along with Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft ( Big companies such as Microsoft) are competing to take the lead in this field.

Why is it now? This is thanks to the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), which has become the solid foundation of a truly interconnected electronic device ecosystem in smart homes; in that ecosystem, voice provides an easy way to manipulate everything from electronic devices An intuitive interface for communication (and between the device and the device).

Whether it's Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, or Apple HomeKit with Siri, voice control is the smart home ecosystem center that every technology giant is trying to build; before the advent of voice control, people control a variety of smart home electronics Through the mobile app (app), but the smart thermostat has a dedicated app, the smart air conditioner has another... each app has a different app, and its shortcomings become more and more significant as the number of devices increases.

Voice control can break the limitations of mobile app control and provide a common point of access to an almost unlimited number of electronic devices that can communicate with each other through the Internet of Things. (The voice interface has been fully expanded, and Google pointed out in February 2016 that the number of voice searches has doubled between December.)

Today's voice control technology has surpassed your imagination: wake up by the alarm clock in the morning, no need to reach out and press it, just say: "I wake up!" can make it quiet; then you can ask: "What is the weather today?" "", you can get weather information, do not have to open the phone's weather app... Then you get out of bed and go to the kitchen, the coffee machine is already running, because it knows you have to drink a cup of coffee every morning.

Or one day, when you go to work, you remember that you forgot to unfreeze the dinner ingredients, and you can't contact the other half who will go home first. Just pick up the phone and send a voice command to the smart home device: "Remind someone to come back at noon. When you are at home, take out the chicken in the freezer!" 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 get the lead in voice-controlled smart homes... Each company has its own unique voice control technology, so who is the winner in the end depends on Whose technology is the easiest for device manufacturers to break into the smart home ecosystem – away from open APIs or other interconnect technologies.

Smart home device manufacturers themselves may not be specialized or knowledgeable about professional and complex voice control technologies; hard design engineers often need to assist these smart home devices in designing voice control components when they are linked to a private home network. More advanced security technologies are also needed to ensure that personal privacy is not compromised.

The semiconductor industry is a bridge to bridge the knowledge gap between voice control solution providers and smart home device manufacturers. They are also processor designers, integrating complex voice functions with smart home devices; it is estimated that by 2021, global voice support The shipment of controlled smart devices will reach 120 million units, and we are ready for this.

Of course, you can expect every technology giant to find a place in the smart home field. The real question is who will be the leader? Who can gain market advantage? Maybe I can't get the answer right now, but obviously I have to master the infrastructure that is easy to join. For smart home manufacturers who are eager to enter this field, it is very important to carefully select semiconductor supplier partners!

Compilation: Judith Cheng

(Reference: Smart Home: The Race to Control the Space, by Martyn Humphries; the author is vice president of consumer and industrial processors at NXP Semiconductor)

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