SPEAKER: Audio AI for Smart Speakers

Caro Bauer

Smart speakers are part of many people’s living rooms these days, but so far there are only devices from the USA on the market: Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomePod, to name just a few. The SPEAKER research project aims to change that. The aim of this project is to develop a European smart speaker to compete with the American products on the market. audEERING is part of the consortium developing this solution.

European data security in a smart speaker

So, why do we need a European solution, if the US products are currently state-of-the-art? The answer is easy: It is not possible to implement European data security standards with solutions from overseas. Furthermore, Europe does not want to leave the big potential in this market to US companies only.

An Assistant tailored to the User’s Needs

audEERING provides its well-known audio AI to enhance the functionalities of the European product. We provide several core functionalities: detection of speaker traits, Voice Activity Detection (VAD), gender detection and acoustic scene analysis.

Detection of speaker traits and gender aims at tailored suggestions by the smart speaker. It would e.g. be possible to detect that the user feels stressed from a hard day at work when entering the room. The assistant could then suggest their favorite music playlist to relax.

Acoustic scene analysis and Voice Activity Detection (VAD) are there to filter the sounds in the room and e.g. detect that a child shouting “teddy” does not mean that it should order a teddy bear from an online store. Similar incidents happened in the past with the American products.

From Research into Practice

To make this vision reality a comprehensive ecosystem of companies has been created. Large-scale industry, mid-sized companies, startups and research partners ensure innovation and the transfer from research into practice. Two Fraunhofer institutes lead the consortium and big players like SAP, Deutsche Bahn, Siemens and Bosch are part of it.

At audEERING, we feel honored to be part of this great endeavor. Make sure to follow us on our social media channels to get news from this and our many other projects.