On December 4, Sensory, Inc. and Foxlink Group announced their strategic cooperation to create Bluetooth products using speech I/O (recognition and prompts) as a Voice User Interface (VUI). The parties will initially focus on the Bluetooth headset market for mono and stereo headsets and hands-free car kit products where the convenience of speech control for small headsets and the safety of complete hands-free control while driving dramatically enhance the users’ experience.
By working together, Foxlink and Sensory believe they can speed the time to market for Bluetooth headset companies wanting to deploy this much needed VUI. Current Bluetooth headset designs rely on buttons to control input commands. There is only room for a few buttons due to the small form factor of the headset. The timing and order of these buttons being held down in various combinations is used to differentiate meaning. This mode of control makes it difficult for consumers to input commands while wearing the headset, and very hard to remember how to input the commands (e.g. “do I hold it down 3 seconds or 4 seconds?”). Using voice to control the headset has been found to be much more convenient and intuitive. Likewise, having a pleasant voice that confirms status, rather than beeps or light flashes adds to the VUI experience. This also allows for safe control of Bluetooth products in a car including answering calls without ever taking your eyes off the road or hands off the steering wheel.
Foxlink is one of the world’s largest independent manufacturers of Bluetooth headsets, producing them as a manufacturer or ODM for most of the major brands that contract out its manufacturing. According to Foxlink Group’s US Operation President, Mr. James Lee, “Our customers want improved user experiences for their headset products. With Sensory’s voice recognition and speech output technologies we can add more features, while making the products easier to use. This is needed for continued market growth.
Sensory is a leader in embedded speech technologies and is the first speech technology provider to port a VUI, using speech recognition and speech synthesis (speech playback for prompts and instruction), to a single chip Bluetooth solution. Todd Mozer, Sensory’s President and CEO said “We are delighted to have Foxlink as a manufacturing partner. This will make it easier for headset companies to get to market fast with a high quality, low cost Bluetooth headset that uses a voice user interface.”
About Sensory, Inc.
Sensory, Inc. is the leader in speech technologies for consumer products. Sensory is a profitable private company offering a complete line of IC and software-only solutions for speech recognition, speech synthesis, speaker verification, music synthesis and more. The company’s products are widely deployed in consumer electronics applications including telephones, home automation, toys, remote controls, automotive, security, and learning aids. Sensory’s customers represent the leaders in consumer electronics, including such companies as Hasbro, JVC, Kenwood, Mattel, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Uniden and Sony. Sensory, Inc. is located at 575 N. Pastoria Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94085. Additional Sensory offices are located in Portland, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Vienna. The company can be found on the web at www.sensoryinc.com.
About Foxlink Group
Foxlink is a leading developer and manufacturer of communications devices, computers and consumer electronics. Foxlink and its subsidiaries have successfully developed total solution from components to turnkey products with the highest level of quality. Foxlink’s customers include some of the best-known and most respected industry leaders, with whom Foxlink has established solid and long-term partnerships. Foxlink USA is located at 925 W. Lambert Road, #C, Brea, CA 92821. Additional Foxlink offices are located in San Jose, Chicago, Seattle and other worldwide locations. The company can be found on the web at www.foxlink.com.