INTEL AND AMAZON have announced an alliance to combine chips with Alexa more closely and bring voice control to more homes and businesses.
It describes the resulting Intel Speech Enabling Developer Kit as a "complete audio front-end solution for far-field voice control".
The development kit is available for pre-order for $399 and will retail for $499 when it becomes readily available.
Miles Kingston general manager of the Smart Home Group at Intel explains: "There's a lot of engineering involved in getting speech recognition at high degrees of speed and accuracy to deliver the best customer experiences.
"The Intel Speech Enabling Developer Kit is based on a new architecture that delivers high-quality far-field voice even in the most acoustically challenging environments. This marks the latest in a string of smart home innovations, including the Intel-powered Amazon Echo Show."
There's actually relatively little point to this if you're happy developing in the cloud with the equipment you already have, but if you want something on-premise, and a lot of people do, especially if it's your full-time job this is going to be a big boon at a price favourable compared to, say a Sony PS4 kit.
The kit includes a high-performance algorithm for acoustic echo cancellation, noise reduction, beamforming and custom wake word engine tuned to hear "Alexa". A dual Digital Signal Processor (DSP) with an inference engine, and an Intel 8-mic circular array.
With over 100 different products already on the market that support Alexa, the fight is on this Christmas for a voice control product in most brands' arsenal. The idea of an on-premise dev kit for prototyping will please a lot of people who aren't satisfied with just a Raspberry Pi, a cheap microphone and the Alexa SDK.
Kingston adds: "With increasing speed, the innovations needed to power the future are within reach. In the smart home, we can all look forward to a wave of innovation from the developer community as we transition from being simply connected to being truly smart." µ
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