Pico-ITX i.MX8M Board Enables Offline Voice Control with Snips

Estone EMB-2238

A few days ago, we covered Estone Technology’s MJ-100 RK3399 rugged tablet. I’ve just realized Estone Technology used to promote their embedded product under the Habey USA brand, which we covered a few times here, and the company has also announced another new product ahead of Embedded World 2019 with their EMB-2238 Pico-ITX i.MX8M board specifically designed for voice control applications. The company setup two voice control demos with the board: one with Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS) and another with Snips that works locally without any Internet connection. We actually came across Snips previously for an article comparing microphone arrays, but I never looked into Snips into details or saw an actual demo. Let’s have a quick look at EMB-2238 board specifications first: SoC –  NXP i.MX 8MQuad  with 4x Arm Cortex-A53 cores @ 1.5GHz, 1x Arm Cortex-M4 realtime-core @ 266MHz, Vivante GC7000L/GC7000LVX with support for OpenGL/ES 3.1, OpenGL 3.0, Vulkan, OpenCL 1.2 System Memory – Onboard 2GB LPDDR4, …

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Those Charts Show The Benefits of Microphone Arrays for Hot Word Detection

Since I started looking more into smart speakers, including DIY ones such as the I made with Orange Pi Zero board + Google Assistant with a single microphone, I was told about the importance of microphone arrays, but so far, I had not seen any clear study or data about that. That changed today, as I came across a review of mic arrays by the makers of Snips Voice Platform. They tested five arrays connected to a Raspberry Pi 3 with the system, and also added a generic USB microphone to the mix. The results speak for themselves… In that experiment, they measured the rate at which a hot word was successfully detected by incrementally increasing the distance between 0.5 meters to 5 meters (16 ft), and for each distance, repeating the hot word 25 times at 3 second intervals using pre-recording to keep the voice level constant, and the same gain for all microphones. They did so in a …

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