Film: The “Smart Speaker Story” at the Fraunhofer IDMT in Oldenburg

News / 12.9.2018

With their audio design of Deutsche Telekom’s smart speaker, audio experts from the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Oldenburg have succeeded in creating a superb sound in a small space. A film is now available that provides an insight into the product’s development, how it works and all the things it can do. It covers the whole process from initial idea to the design phase and the partners’ collaboration to the realization of acoustic end-of-line testing in production.

Oldenburg/Berlin, 12.9.2018. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Oldenburg are making a special user experience possible through their audio design of the Deutsche Telekom’s smart speaker. By refining and combining microphone and loudspeaker technologies, the hearing, speech and audio technology experts have created a very robust voice control system that allows the user to listen to music at the same time. What was special for the product developers in Oldenburg was the fact that they were involved in the project from the outset and able to contribute their know-how to the manufacturing of the device as well. A film is now available that tells the “Smart Speaker Story” – from the laboratories at the Fraunhofer IDMT in Oldenburg to the product’s launch at IFA 2018 in Berlin.

Amongst others, Deutsche Telekom’s smart speaker uses the speaker engine developed at the Fraunhofer IDMT in Oldenburg. This unites all the algorithms necessary for maximum quality and safe operation in audio reproduction and is combined with intelligent algorithms for speech recording – integrated and adapted on the basis of a high-performance XMOS multicore signal processor.

Numerous functions in compliance with European data protection rules

With the personal assistant, voice control can be used to operate connected devices in the home such as TV and Telekom’s smart home applications – without the need for a remote control. The personal assistant can also be used to make telephone calls – the audio quality is excellent. Other applications are available via cooperation partners such as Radioplayer and the news programme “Tagesschau”. Users of Amazon’s cloud-based Alexa voice service can also access a large number of apps with Deutsche Telekom’s smart speaker. The new voice-controlled assistant conforms to the highest data security requirements. Data processing takes place exclusively within the European Union and complies with Telekom’s high data protection standards.

 

About the Branch Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology at the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Oldenburg

The objective of the Branch Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology of the Fraunhofer IDMT is to transpose scientific findings related to hearing perception into technological applications. Its applied research priorities are the enhancement of sound and speech intelligibility, personalized audio reproduction, and acoustic speech and event detection. Through scientific partnerships, it has close links with the Carl von Ossietzky University, Jade University and other institutions in Oldenburg engaged in hearing research. It is also a partner in the »Hearing4all« Cluster of Excellence.

WE MAKE IT LISTEN! "We teach your devices to hear."

With the speech recognizers developed at the Fraunhofer IDMT, enterprises can operate their machines reliably even in a loud environment and, if wanted, without transferring data to the internet. Or they can incorporate the speech recognizers in their own products and in this way create unique selling points as well as generate new value added for their customers. In the area of industry 4.0, amongst others, the Fraunhofer IDMT is using acoustic event monitoring processes to detect conspicuous noises in machines or in the context of product quality control. In this way, damage can be avoided and downtimes kept to a minimum.