Citing multiple sources, GottaBeMobile reports that LG has plans to release a smartphone with always-on voice activation as soon as next year. Reportedly, smartphones armed with the technology will respond only to the owner's voice and may require just a simple "hello" to begin processing voice input.
Buttonless (and touchless) voice activation has always presented a few challenges to handset makers, namely battery power (any feature that is always on requires some level of awareness) and separating noise -- like conversations and road noise -- from deliberate voice commands.
According to sources, LG's always-on technology though won't feature the broad contextual richness offered by Google's and Apple's manually activated voice solutions. Instead, the company has chosen to focus on a single context: navigation. Without having to press anything, users will be able to pan and zoom Google Maps (and presumably get directions) entirely by speaking. Maintaining a very specific context should help increase the accuracy of said voice controls, which may partly explain its limited understanding.
Designed to facilitate voice activation that's always on, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 processor will play a key part in LG's technology. Battery drain can be a problem with devices standing-by for something like voice commands; however, Cnet reports that Qualcomm has assured vendors its new silicon can deliver the feature with no negative impact on battery life.
Since the Snapdragon 800 will undoubtedly appear in other phones by other manufacturers, LG is likely not the only handset maker with plans to introduce persistent voice activation in 2014 -- just the first one in the rumor mill. More smartphones featuring always-on voice control will likely appear after Qualcomm's new SoC debuts in Q4 this year.
The Apple iPhone 5 is the latest flagship smartphone from Apple. The iPhone 5 features a 4-inch display retains the same 326 PPI density as its predecessor with an effective resolution of 1,126 x 640, and a new Lightning connector. The new handset now features 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with 802.11n supporting dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Bluetooth 4.0 is back in addition to GPS and GLONASS for location services.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a continuation of its previous design, but it's a sleeker and more current version of it. The S4 features a 1.9 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, 2GB of RAM, and a 5-inch Super AMOLED Plus display. The S4 also packs 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, IR LED Remote Control, MHL 2.0, NFC, and Bluetooth 4.0 (LE).
The Nexus 4 is Google’s flagship handset that shipped along Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The Nexus 4 packs a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, a 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 IPS display, 2GB of RAM, dual cameras (1.3MP front, 8.0MP back), and either 8GB or 16GB of internal storage. Google also baked in NFC support and wireless charging.
The Google Nexus 10 features Android 4.2 with a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 chip paired with 2GB of RAM, as well as a 10-inch screen at 2560 x 1600 resolution, clocking in at 300ppi. There’s also a 5MP camera on the back, a 1.9MP camera on the front, and a battery that Google says runs for 9 hours. Other features include microUSB, Micro HDMI and not one but two NFC chips.
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