Qualcomm expands support for smart speakers, adds Cortana to audio platform

Image Credit Khari Johnson

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. This comprehensive set of platforms opens exciting new possibilities for OEMs to accelerate the design, development and commercialization of a new generation of artificial intelligence (AI) -enabled consumer electronics products featuring rich digital assistant, touch display, video camera and immersive media.

The company believes that by opening its smart platform for more manufacturers, it will be easier to build devices that come with built-in support for virtual assistants.

As part of a wider push on smart voice services, the chipmaker is expanding its mesh networking platform to include support for voice recognition. Harman and Lenovo™ are now working with Qualcomm Technologies on home products including the new Lenovo Smart Display using the Qualcomm Home Hub platforms.

"Microsoft and Qualcomm Technologies are collaborating on a variety of strategic projects, and we're pleased that Qualcomm Technologies are bringing support for the power of Cortana to their Smart Audio platform", said Jordi Ribas, Corporate Vice President, AI Products, Microsoft.

Both platforms support robust Wi-Fi® 802.11ac 2x2 MU-MIMO and Bluetooth® connectivity using Qualcomm Technologies' QCA9379 chip.


The new smart speaker development kit will be available through Qualcomm's authorized distribution channels.

Besides, Qualcomm's Home Hub platform can be termed as the most powerful platform when it comes to computational efficiency and effectiveness. It can even support displays at a 720p resolution (Adreno 304 or 308 GPU) and Google Cast.

Qualcomm: In addition to partnering with Microsoft on Windows-on-ARM "Always Connected" PCs, Qualcomm is building reference designs on its Smart Audio and Mesh Networking plaftorms that use Cortana.

Qualcomm Technologies will demonstrate products based on the Home Hub platforms at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, January 9 - 12, Central Hall, 10948.

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