Qualcomm wants to make it faster and easier to build Alexa speakers

We've already seen a flood of new Alexa speakers hit the market - including most notably the Sonos One - but Qualcomm's new platform wants to ensure that the flow doesn't slow down anytime soon. 

The chip manufacturers new 'Smart Audio Platform' is an end-to-end solution for anyone looking to build a smart speaker of their own, including a six microphone array and far field voice processing technology. 

Although this particular platform will offer support for Amazon's Alexa ecosystem, Qualcomm is also launching a Google Assistant version at this CES. 

Better smart speakers, not just more

Although this platform will mean more manufacturers are able to bring smart speakers to market, Qualcomm's technology should also mean they are of a higher quality. 

Its audio processing technology, for example, should allow it to hear its wake word even if its environment is noisy, and is also tuned to allow speakers to listen while they're playing music themselves. 

Qualcomm even intimated that it would be interested in supporting voice biometrics in the future to allow the speaker to tell different people apart, and even to potentially offer security to allow people to make secure transactions using their voice. 

The platform is certainly a good fit for the company, which has a long history in streaming audio, security, and connectivity, and we're hoping that the platform raises the bar for third-party Alexa devices, many of which have suffered with poor voice recognition despite their often superior speaker systems. 

Jon Porter

Jon Porter is the ex-Home Technology Writer for TechRadar. He has also previously written for Practical Photoshop, Trusted Reviews, Inside Higher Ed, Al Bawaba, Gizmodo UK, Genetic Literacy Project, Via Satellite, Real Homes and Plant Services Magazine, and you can now find him writing for The Verge.