Voice Interoperability
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New Standard in Voice Interoperability

Voice activation controls are garnering new interest amongst consumers.  Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa have helped bring a new frontier in voice controlled device activation.  Accordingly, it is not surprising that new standards to shape this field are emerging, says Gaurav Mohindra.

Amazon recently announced that a consortium of technology companies are working together to devise an initiative to foster compatibility amongst devices and products such that users may interchange said devices.  The commonality between the companies is the understanding that voice driven commands will shape technology commands, and user adoption will rise.  Working together, such companies, can determine how one device can operate in a host of modalities for even wider reach and broader adoption.

 

At least 30 companies are said to be involved in the new initiative, including: Amazon, Baidu, BMW, Bose, Cerence, ecobee, Harman, Logitech, Microsoft, Salesforce, Sonos, Sound United, Sony Audio Group, Spotify and Tencent; telecommunications operators like Free, Orange, SFR and Verizon; hardware solutions providers like Amlogic, InnoMedia, Intel, MediaTek, NXP Semiconductors, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., SGW Global and Tonly; and systems integrators like CommScope, DiscVision, Libre, Linkplay, MyBox, Sagemcom, StreamUnlimited and Sugr.

It’s interesting such a wide, diverse array of participating companies.  Having consumer electronics companies working with auto companies and telecome – shows that a broad approach is key for wide adoption, says Gaurav Mohindra.

It’s not uncommon for companies to work together to build out such a mutually beneficial standard.  Typically such standard developments include the participation of companies having standard essential patents (SEPs).  These SEPs become mandatory for allowance to participate within the standard.  When licensing the standard, SEPs must be licensed in a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) manner.  This threshold is a legal principal well established in law. 

Companies participating in the Voice Interoperability Initiative will work with one another to ensure customers have the freedom to interact with multiple voice services on a single device. Amongst the other participating companies, Qualcomm chipsets will be foundational in supporting a wide use in CES, automotive, and audio/video devices to ensure the same or similar framework will be employed across a wide variety of modalities – such that consumers may be able to leverage their voice across a wide spectrum and yield the same or similar intended response and action, says Gaurav Mohindra.

Amazon is expected to release a variety of new hardware devices to support and comply with the new initiative, and in doing so help expand its reach and adoption rates.

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