Wolfson and Malaspina Labs partner to deliver true 'always on' voice trigger solution and improved voice recognition for mobile devices

FEB 19, 2014 — Wolfson Microelectronics plc, a global leader in the design and development of mixed-signal semiconductor devices and audio solutions for consumer electronics products, and Malaspina Labs Inc., a leading audio processing technology company, have today announced a partnership to make Malaspina Labs’ VoiceBoost™ ‘always listening’ Voice Activation solution available on Wolfson’s industry-leading WM5102S Audio Hub™ product for mobile devices. The VoiceBoost™ Voice Activation solution offers either speaker-dependent or speaker-independent voice recognition options, enabling the user to ‘wake’ a device from a low-power state by speaking a user-defined trigger phrase, without the need for physical interaction with the phone, such as button presses or typing.

In addition to this, Malaspina Labs’ VoiceBoost™ suite of phonetic speech enhancement technologies are to be available on Wolfson’s WM5102S Audio Hub™ solution for mobile devices, helping to improve voice recognition effectiveness and accuracy, and deliver an enhanced hands-free voice calling experience, even in noisy environments.

The VoiceBoost™ suite of solutions includes Malaspina Labs’ automatic speech recognition (ASR) assist technology, audio pre-processing and noise reduction solutions for single-microphone and dual-microphone devices, enhancing voice communication and voice interaction on mobile devices, and ensuring that the user can effectively and accurately use the voice control features on their device regardless of interference from environmental noise such as vehicle interior noise, street traffic noise, background conversations or background music. VoiceBoost™ solutions are scalable in MIPS, memory and latency to meet the requirements of a broad range of applications including bone conduction, telecom and human-machine interfaces. When ported onto Wolfson’s ultra-low power Audio Hub™ solutions, OEMs can achieve a new level of mobile voice processing for their devices, and vastly improve the voice recognition experience for the consumer regardless of their device form factor or the environment they are used in.

The WM5102S is part of Wolfson’s family of low power Audio Hub™ products which deliver outstanding audio performance to mobile devices. Platform agnostic, Wolfson’s Audio Hub™ platforms have the capability to run Wolfson's suite of sound enhancing and noise reduction software, customers' own software or third party software, such as Malaspina Labs’ VoiceBoost™ suite, enabling OEMs to create customised audio solutions for their devices and helping to differentiate their products in the market.

John Forsyth, VP Product Management, Audio Solutions at Wolfson, said: “Typically, voice trigger solutions on mobile devices use so much power that it isn’t practical to have them running continuously. Malaspina Labs’ Voice Activation solution allows Wolfson’s Audio Hub™ products to be actively ‘listening’ for user input at all times and in all environments, with minimal impact on the battery life of the device.

“Their solutions are a great fit for Wolfson’s Audio Hub™ platforms due to their focus on ultra-low power devices and their enhancement of ASR accuracy. Mobile devices are increasingly being used in hands-free mode and Malaspina Labs’ VoiceBoost™ solutions are designed to cope with varying distances and angles, in ways that traditional handset solutions are often unable to.”

Dean Neumann, CEO of Malaspina Labs, said: “Wolfson’s Audio Hub™ products are a perfect platform for our VoiceBoost™ solutions due to the breadth of the product family and their power/performance leadership. Using Wolfson’s Audio Hub™ products, we can now offer a voice trigger solution that listens continuously, recognizing wakeup commands from different users, perhaps with different accents or using different languages, consuming a similar amount of power as the flashing LED that tells you that you have a message.

“Malaspina Labs’ VoiceBoost™ paired with Wolfson’s Audio Hub™ products also allows manufacturers of a wide range of both single-microphone and multiple-microphone devices to offer the benefits of voice interfaces and voice communication in traditional and emerging use cases, such as wearables, and in higher noise environments.”

About Malaspina Labs

Malaspina Labs advances the state of the art in real-time speech enhancement for ultra-low power devices.  Malaspina Labs focuses on the development of rotation & orientation robust speech processing algorithms which operate deterministically at bone-conduction, telecom, and voice interface latencies within the resource constraints of milliwatt-class processors designed for mobile, embedded, medical and consumer devices.  Malaspina’s VoiceBoost suite of solutions have been shown to increase speech intelligibility by hearing impaired users in noisy environments, as well as to increase automatic speech recognition performance and mobile voice call quality in high noise environments.
For more information visit www.malaspina-labs.com

About Wolfson Microelectronics

Wolfson Microelectronics plc is a global leader in the supply of high performance, mixed-signal semiconductor devices and audio solutions to the consumer electronics market. In the home, in the office and on the move, Wolfson’s innovative technology can be found at the heart of many of the world’s leading digital consumer goods, including premier hi-fi equipment, smartphones, mobile phones, tablet computers, MP3 players, televisions, digital still cameras and gaming. The company’s headquarters is located in Edinburgh, UK. Wolfson’s customers are located worldwide, and so is Wolfson, with design centres, sales offices, applications teams and engineering expertise across Europe, the US, Australia and Asia. Wolfson Microelectronics plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: WLF.L). For more information about Wolfson Microelectronics, please visit: http://www.wolfsonmicro.com