Qualcomm Wants More Bluetooth Headset Makers to Add Alexa
Qualcomm introduced an end-to-end Bluetooth Smart Headset reference design that hardware makers can use to develop headsets with Amazon's Alexa on board. The reference design shows developers how they can add push-button activation support for Alexa to hearables connected to Android phones. The reference hardware includes Qualcomm's QCC5100 series Bluetooth audio chips as well as all the key hardware and software to allow for quick and efficient designing and engineering. The reference design also demonstrates ultra-low power consumption, Qualcomm cVc noise reduction for improved audio, and aptX HD for the best possible music reproduction. The Qualcomm Smart Headset Development Kit should speed up time to market, as Qualcomm has done the bulk of the needed coding for Alexa integration. This will let headphone makers plug in that code so they can concentrate on other aspects of their hardware. The real goal for Qualcomm is to convince OEMs to use its QCC5100 Bluetooth chips in their designs. Similarly, Qualcomm said it is partnering with several original design manufacturers to launch reference designs for wearables. It is working with Compal Electronics and Longcheer on smartwatches, Huaqin and Thundersoft on 4G kid watches, Franklin Wireless on 4G smart trackers, and Smartcom on 4G connected end-to-end solutions. Once these reference designs are all worked out, hardware makers should more easily be able to add Wear OS to devices that rely on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 for smartwatches, open Android on the Snapdragon Wear 2500 for kid watches, and other platforms on the Snapdragon Wear 1100 and 1200 for smart trackers. Some of these will support 2G/3G devices, while others will support LTE 4G. Qualcomm didn't put a timeframe on the completion of these reference designs.
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Amazon today made the Motorola Moto Z3 Play and Moto G6 Play, both with Alexa on board, available through its Prime Exclusives program. Phones sold through the Prime Exclusive program have a single sign-in for all Amazon services, such as Amazon Video and Amazon Music.
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Qualcomm's Smart Audio Platform now supports Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana. The idea is to make it easier for hardware makers to add voice assistant features to their devices, such as smart speakers and other smart home gear.