OnQ Blog

Amazon Alexa Voice Service – Coming to a thing near you

The Internet of Things becomes more real every day, especially as we command more of those things by voice.

Take your Amazon Echo Dot, for example. You can use it as an alarm clock, a weatherperson, a timer, a home automation center, a music player, and even a comedian (if you’re really desperate). And CES 2019 brought us another wave of voice-activated assistants in products like microwave ovens, wall clocks, mirrors, and pet minders.

The best things in life are the ones you can talk to

To enable our customers to build the Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS) into even more devices and things, we’ve announced the developer preview of the Qualcomm Home Hub 100 Development Kit for Amazon AVS. Manufacturers and developers can use the kit to integrate, evaluate and test AVS in their products over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, and 802.15.4 (Thread and Zigbee 3.0) connections.

The kit opens up new opportunities for building Alexa into IoT devices in areas like smart home, automation, smart appliances, and home entertainment.

Based on the Home Hub 100 Development Kit for Amazon AVS

The Home Hub 100 Development Kit for Amazon AVS is built around the Home Hub 100 Platform, a family of System-on-Modules (SoMs), development boards, and reference designs based on the Qualcomm QCA4020 System-on-Chip (SoC).

We’ve designed the kit to support Amazon’s cloud-based AVS. It allows developers to prototype voice-controlled devices connected to AWS IoT Core, Amazon’s managed cloud service for securely interacting with cloud applications and other devices.

The kit puts you on the path to building the same kind of voice control into your devices that is at work in the Amazon Echo and the Echo Dot.

Different radios in the Internet of Things

Some things connect over Wi-Fi, others use Bluetooth, and still others connect over Thread or Zigbee. Getting them to find one another in a smart home can be a lot of work. Once you have the radios sorted out, you still have to address the issues associated with network protocols, voice processing, access to the cloud, and device security.

Even without in-house expertise in those technology domains, you can still use the Home Hub Development Kit for AVS to quickly prototype and start testing your device with AVS support. This is the first Alexa Voice Service development kit that is qualified by Amazon and equipped with three radios: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, and 802.15.4, including support for Thread and Zigbee 3.0. It includes tools for communicating with devices that contain those radios as well as with AVS in the cloud.

This chipset also includes security features in hardware for stronger device protection than most software-only security offerings.

Cost-efficient development for AVS

The Amazon-certified kit is also powered by an integrated (hostless) microcontroller and real-time operating system (RTOS). That can translate into lower power consumption, reduced cost, and a smaller footprint — making it possible to add Alexa to a growing variety of smart home devices.

A smart voice board by Synaptics in the kit is equipped with a dual-microphone, a CX20921 far-field voice processor, and embedded smart voice triggering so you can add voice control, voice search, and a VoIP/speakerphone. You can also enjoy developer access to the board’s speech input processor, support for wake-on-voice, noise suppression, and full-duplex acoustic echo cancellation. A Synaptics CX22721 two-watt Class-D amplifier is also integrated for audio playback.

Next step

The Home Hub Development Kit for AVS is one more in a series of steps we’re taking with the Amazon Alexa Voice Service to transform industries and enrich lives. It combines the multi-mode connectivity of the Qualcomm Home Hub 100 Platform with the Amazon Alexa Voice Service to add voice control to new kinds of devices or things.

 

Qualcomm Home Hub Platform and Qualcomm QCA4020 are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

 

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.