Earlier today, a Californian tech company Sensory introduced VoiceGenie, a solution for allowing wireless headphones to communicate with Amazon's Alexa AI assistant. VoiceGenie connects to smart devices via Bluetooth and supports voice commands, meaning users can simply tell their headphones or earbuds to play a song, make a call, shuffle a playlist, or rewind a track. This conversational interface is also used for communicating with Alexa, as VoiceGenie will allow users to take advantage of Amazon's latest AI helper wherever they are, as long as they have a pair of headphones and a phone at hand. The Santa Clara-based company is developing VoiceGenie in collaboration with an Australian tech firm BlueAnt Wireless. This new technology will be showcased at CES 2017 and is expected to hit the market later this year. A specific release date has yet to be revealed.
Sensory's representatives said that VoiceGenie is the company's attempt to show wearable manufacturers what's possible to accomplish with power-efficient speech recognition technology. The firm believes that while voice assistants are already doing quite well in smartphones, vehicles, and IoT devices, integrating a viable AI solution into a wearable is relatively difficult seeing how manufacturers are limited by both form and power of such devices. That's why they came up with VoiceGenie, a solution that allows most wireless headphones to utilize the power of Amazon's Alexa on the go. This proprietary technology combines Sensory's speech recognition algorithms with a dedicated music decoder which allows it to run on even the smallest digital signal processors (DSPs) like the ones present in virtually every pair of contemporary wireless headphones.
VoiceGenie is supported on devices powered by a Qualcomm-made system-on-chip specifically made for audio devices and boasts no less than three types of AI assistants, all of which are controlled by voice. The standard VoiceGenie helper can be used for controlling various Bluetooth devices that a phone can connect to, and is also used for answering phone calls. Regarding the latter, VoiceGenie sports a text-to-speech feature which allows it to announce who's calling before giving you the option to answer or ignore a call. Furthermore, Sensory's solution comes packed with support for mobile AI companions like Google Assistant. In addition to that, the VoiceGenie mobile app can also be used to access Amazon's Alexa and all of its available skills even when there's no Amazon Echo in sight.