Qualcomm expands its support for Alexa, Cortana and the Google Assistant

Image Credit Khari Johnson

The Qualcomm Smart Audio Platform with support for Cortana is expected to be available in the first half of 2018.

Seshu Madavapeddy, Qualcomm's VP of product management for IoT, told me the company is using a lot of the building blocks it developed for mobile devices to build these home IoT platforms (though the company is obviously also making investments specific to IoT). Each program participant is creating reference designs for manufacturers to incorporate Cortana into things like mesh networks and smart home devices.

The new smart speaker development kit will be available through Qualcomm's authorized distribution channels. And the news about Microsoft's vague commitments around Cortana and Dynamics 365, as well as the relatively tiny number of skills available for Microsoft's digital assistant haven't made Cortana's future seem very bright, to say the least.

Qualcomm is expanding the capabilities and product applications for its Qualcomm Mesh Networking Platform and Reference Design. The goal of this new platform is to enable the rapid acceleration and creation of smart speakers in the industry, where manufacturers have to spend less time on design and the tech inside, while also being able to choose from Alexa, Google Assistant, or Cortana.

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Qualcomm Technologies also introduced the new Qualcomm Low Power Bluetooth SoC QCC5100 series to help manufacturers develop a new generation of compact wireless earbuds, hearables and headsets.

In total, there are quite a few announcements here: the Qualcomm Smart Audio far-field reference platform that is now qualified for Alexa; Smart Audio Platform support for Android Things; the Google Assistant and Google Cast for audio; and the new Qualcomm Home Hub platforms (which comes in two different flavors) with support for Android Things; and Microsoft Cortana support. With support for both Linux and Android Things operating systems, as well as voice services from major cloud providers, the Smart Audio Platform offers manufacturers a variety of choices to help them participate in the growing smart speaker opportunity.

The Qualcomm Smart Audio Platform will be demonstrated at CES in our booth in Central Hall #10948. Anticipated to begin in 2019, BYD electric vehicles are planned to feature integrated infotainment and digital cluster systems powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820A Automotive platform.

The 2018 Honda Accord also features a Qualcomm 4G LTE modem which is created to support the Hondalink vehicle connectivity system.

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