Qualcomm today announced its Smart Audio Platform will not only support Android Things, but also Google Assistant, Google Cast, as well as other Google-related services. The announcement was made as part of the company's CES 2018 event and effectively sees its Audio platform completely committing to all of Google's audio related services.
Qualcomm's Smart Audio Platform (announced in June, 2017) is much like other reference solutions the company offers as it is designed to help speaker (and audio in general) OEMs to bring to market smart audio products in a quicker time-frame. If, for example, a manufacturer is lacking in the technical know-how, the resources, or time, to bring about a 'smart' version of a speaker, it can turn to Qualcomm's option as a means to speed up the development-to-release process. As a result of today's announcement, Qualcomm is looking to ensure those customers who make use of its Smart Audio platform going forward will also be able to include support for popular smart aspects – like Google Assistant and/or Google Cast for Audio – with their products. Which in turn is also likely to result in more Google Assistant-enabled speakers coming to market in general, and at a much faster rate. As part of the announcement on this, Qualcomm turned to LG's ThinQ Speaker (announced in December) as an example of one of the Google Assistant-enabled products that is arriving, and which also makes use of its Smart Audio Platform.
As for Android Things, Google's approach to IoT development, this is not the first time Qualcomm has announced support for the emerging operating system. With Qualcomm confirming in 2016 that it will be supporting Android Things and looking to help rapidly facilitate its arrival. With that in mind today's announcement acts as an extension of that already announced commitment, with the company's Smart Audio Platform one of the ways in which Qualcomm will assist in furthering the reach of Android Things. Qualcomm expanded on this part of the announcement by confirming its Smart Audio Platform's Android Things support is going live from today for "select customers." With a view to general availability going live during the first half of this year.