HARMAN International, as you know, a subsidiary of Samsung, today announced a new Far Field Voice Input Technology, called Sonique. This technology is intended for the fast-growing market of devices in the Consumer Electronics, Enterprise, and Robotics spaces that utilize voice commands, rather than traditional physical inputs via buttons, keyboard inputs, or mouse clicks. Translation: Harman (with Samsung) will try and make Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Voice better.
HARMAN is saying the market for devices with voice input capability to exceed $7 billion by 2024 with the majority of the voice-controlled devices expected in several areas, including home hubs, conferencing, healthcare and robotics.
According to HARMAN, Sonique uses a customizable, high performance microphone array, a suite of voice algorithms to accurately capture voice commands, even in high ambient noise environments, and integration with popular natural voice engines, and low distortion speakers.
Sonique will initially be offered in three configurations for specific use-cases. The first configuration will be a two-mic solution. This robust configuration is intended primarily for consumer electronics applications, such as a home hub, which can be easily integrated into a music device, TV set-top box or an internet router. The two-mic configuration is designed for high quality voice inputs at distances up to 4 meters (12 feet).
The second Sonique configuration is a four-mic solution. This configuration is designed for premium home applications, enterprise applications, and robotics applications. The four-mic configuration is for voice inputs at distances up to 6 meters (18 feet).
The third configuration is a seven-mic solution. This configuration is designed for high performance applications, mostly for enterprise and robotics. Featuring a suite of high performance algorithms, the seven-mic solution is for voice inputs at distances up to 8 meters (24 feet) with high ambient noise.
Sonique will integrate with all natural voice engines that are available for public use. Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana are available now. They expect to integrate with other natural voice engines, such as Baidu, Iflytech, Google Assistant, SoundHound, and Siri in the near future.