Home / Tech / Qualcomm's new smart speaker platform will drive third-party device growth (QCOM)

Qualcomm's new smart speaker platform will drive third-party device growth (QCOM)

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San Diego-based technology company and semiconductor designer Qualcomm announced a set of new system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs as well as a dedicated smart speaker platform on which companies can base AI-enabled audio devices.

US Smart Speakers' Meteroric Growth to Slow As Devices Move Mainstream

The announcement comes at an opportune time: More and more companies are building smart speakers that house a voice assistant and can control a home, direct media, and serve as a communication hub. The continued development of the third-party smart speaker market will push prices down and drive consumer adoption of voice-enabled devices.

Qualcomm’s new speaker platform offers hardware developers a ready-made package to design and build a smart speaker. It includes modules for multiple forms of in-home connectivity, audio playback, power optimization, and optional visual display capabilities.

Hardware based on this platform can also use onboard AI processing tools to perform voice recognition while offline, and features advanced microphones and audio-recognition software to snatch a voice command from background noise.

This new platform is just the latest example of Qualcomm’s efforts to develop device frameworks to function within existing smart speaker ecosystems. Last month, for instance, the company released a similar platform that allows partners developing mesh Wi-Fi systems to incorporate voice assistants, offering a ready-made solution for this developing class of smart speakers.

Qualcomm’s goal seems to be to position itself as the primary vendor for companies developing smart speaker solutions, mirroring its status in the smartphone segment and following its long-term strategy of building new revenue streams from markets that share core technology with its foundational mobile phone business.

The wider availability of development kits for building voice capabilities directly into other smart home devices will help drive the growing installed base of Alexa, Google Assistant, and other voice assistants. Kits like Qualcomm’s will help third-party device manufacturers develop new smart home devices quickly and easily, thereby creating more devices through which voice assistants can be used.

This will be a boon for Amazon and Google, which want to expand the reach of their respective AI assistants. Having more devices on the market will also drive down prices for consumers, and help grow the US smart speaker installed base to nearly 500 million by 2024.

More to Learn

The Smart Speaker Report from Business Insider Intelligence looks at the state of the smart speaker market and outlines how each of the major device providers approaches the space — focusing on the key factors affecting whether or not someone owns one of these devices, the reasons why people don’t own them, and how the devices are used and perceived in e-commerce, digital media, and banking. 

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • Despite their growing popularity, nearly half of respondents still don’t own a device — which presents a long runway for adoption. Our survey data reveals a number of key factors that impact whether or not someone owns one of these devices, including income, gender, and age.
  • Smart speakers are establishing themselves as a key platform for e-commerce, media, and the smart home.
  • The introduction of a screen to some smart speakers will expand the possibilities for companies developing for the device — but developers will need to resist the compulsion to use speakers to accomplish too much.

In full, the report:

  • Provides an overview of the key players and products in the smart speaker market.
  • Highlights critical adoption rates broken out by key factors that define the segment.
  • Identifies how consumers are using devices in important areas where companies in various industries are trying foster greater use of the voice interface.

Interested in getting the full report? >> Purchase & Download It Now

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