Amazon and Qualcomm are on a mission to bring chatty voice assistant Alexa to future Wi-Fi mesh networks, which will, in theory, make it easier for you to issue commands to all of your connected appliances wherever you are in your home.
The creation of a new Mesh Networking Development Kit is intended to make it easier for developers building Wi-Fi systems based on Qualcomm’s mesh platform to add Alexa to the table.
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The kit will use Meeami Technologies’ ClearVoice software solution, which promises to greatly improve far-field voice recognition on devices with single microphones and mic arrays from two to eight receivers, thanks to a combination of adaptive beamforming, noise and echo cancellation and automatic gain control.
A boost to automatic speech recognition and natural language processing is also promised.
Interestingly, Meeami says ClearVoice is built to work with Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Assistant too, so it might be possible for users who prefer these voice assistants to Alexa to benefit from this new SDK too.
The dev kit also reportedly makes it easier for powerful security solutions to be applied to devices on the network, although it’s currently less clear how exactly this will work.
“Mesh networks have become the new standard to support the best possible connected experience in the home,” said Nick Kucharewski, vice president and general manager of wireless infrastructure and networking for Qualcomm.
“By integrating our mesh platform with Alexa, we create a powerful development kit that is designed to enable device manufacturers to quickly and economically bring innovative new products to market and meet the development speed of this fast-growing market.”
Relatively few Wi-Fi systems currently support Qualcomm’s mesh standard, but both Netgear and Asus have announced that they’re working with the chipmaker. With Amazon, which would obviously love to have Alexa listening in every room in every home in the world, now throwing its weight behind the project, Qualcomm’s mesh ambitions appear to be interlocking nicely.
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Earlier this week, the chipmaker also announced the Snapdragon X55 5G modem. Qualcomm expects that this next-gen 5G component will not only see future phones connecting to 5G, but will also allow for smart cars, smart home appliances and routers to tap into next-gen mobile networks, too.
Think Qualcomm’s mesh mash-up is a bit meh or the future of smart home communication? Dictate a Tweet to Alexa and have her send it to @TrustedReviews.