It won’t be an understatement to say that the Amazon Echo has done great things for the smart speaker market. Companies like Google and Apple came out with their own smart speakers after they saw the runaway success that Amazon has had with its Echo devices. Qualcomm is now looking to provide the building blocks to OEMs that are interested in making such products but don’t want to start from scratch.
Qualcomm has introduced a reference “smart audio” design which features a speaker, microphone, and voice recognition technology that OEMs can use if they want to make their own smart speakers.
Qualcomm’s reference design also has support for both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant which will enable OEMs to integrate the voice assistants into their products.
The new platform is a flexible solution that offers two Qualcomm SoC options based on the APQ8009 and APQ8018 chips. Qualcomm’s AllPlay multi-room audio technology is supported as well which means these speakers will be easily configurable to play synchronized music across multiple rooms.
High-performance Wi-Fi and Bluetooth solutions will be supported as well by these devices, the flexible set of options include a variety of dual-band 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi chips with both 1×1 and 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 4.2, and Bluetooth Low Energy.
It’s going to be a while before consumer devices based on this platform are launched but at least we can now expect the smart speaker market to get a whole lot more crowded than it already is.