As posted on Get ready to see a bunch of Amazon Echo clones
Now, it appears that there’s about to be a massive surge of Amazon Echo and Google Home clones making their way into people’s lives.
Qualcomm revealed a new reference design for a “Smart Audio Platform” on Tuesday that OEMs can use to build their own smart speakers from scratch. The design includes a microphone, speaker, and voice recognition technology that will make it easier for manufacturers to build what will essentially be Amazon Echo and Google Home ripoffs.
What’s cool about the new Qualcomm reference design is that it includes support for Amazon Alexa (the AI that powers the Echo) and Google Assistant, meaning that manufacturers will be able to add either brand’s voice assistant to new speakers with little-to-no extra cost. The reference design also includes extra features like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and multi-room playback support.
But what really makes this new reference design exciting is that Qualcomm is going a step further to help companies get better sound quality out of their speakers. The company also announced new amplifier technology and an audio development kit to encourage manufacturers to build higher-end smart speakers. These technologies focused on audio quality could very well pave the way for more Apple Home Pod competitors.
In sum, the launch of all this new smart audio platform and audio development kit is an attempt by Qualcomm to get more companies using their chips in newer smart speakers. On paper, it sounds like we could be seeing many more high-end speakers that play music around your house like a Sonos system. The only catch is that the chips won’t be available to manufacturers until the third quarter of the year, so we most likely won’t see an influx of smart speakers until next year.