February 22, 2013
Your Next Smartphone Could Respond to Your Voice, Even When It’s Asleep
A new feature in Qualcomm’s chips will let you wake your phone with a voice command so it can do your bidding. Now it just needs to learn to cook.
A new feature unveiled this week by mobile chip maker Qualcomm could soon make this a reality. Called Snapdragon Voice Activation, it will wake up gadgets that include the company’s Snapdragon 800 processors—intended for things like high-end smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs—from standby or airplane mode once you’ve uttered a special voice command that phonemakers like HTC and Samsung can determine. The feature then starts up the phone’s own voice-recognition software, such as Android’s Google Now voice search.
Such “persistent listening” technology may pick up steam as growing hordes of smartphone owners become acquainted with voice-activated search and virtual personal assistants like Google Now and Siri, and as Qualcomm and others begin adding it to chips.
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