Always-on voice controlled smartphones to appear in 2014

By on June 18, 2013, 4:00 PM

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.




User Comments: 7

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3 people like this | MilwaukeeMike said:

Interesting... navigation sounds like a good spot to start with this idea. There's not really a point to being able to use your phone hands free if you're walking around and have to take it out of your pocket first... all you'll be doing is confusing the people around.

*you* 'Hello',

*guy next to you* 'Hello?'

*you* 'Oh, sorry, I was talking to my phone.'.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Oh god, let the horrors begin

1 person liked this | soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

Comes with the new NSA always watching you app as well with no option to uninstall it or turn it off.

JC713 JC713 said:

Wow, this is scary.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Comes with the new NSA always watching you app as well with no option to uninstall it or turn it off.

Didn't you know that all next gen phones will come with an additional camera entirely dedicated for NSA use as well as a warning through your speaker saying "Anything you say and look at can & will be used as evidence against you"?

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Interesting... navigation sounds like a good spot to start with this idea. There's not really a point to being able to use your phone hands free if you're walking around and have to take it out of your pocket first... all you'll be doing is confusing the people around.

*you* 'Hello',

*guy next to you* 'Hello?'

*you* 'Oh, sorry, I was talking to my phone.'.

You forgot to add:

*guy next to you* So was I.

*girl next to both of you* Stop hitting on me!

cuerdc said:

Wonder what things your missus phone could do in their handbag while having a good gossip chat

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