Breaking news for all the gadget freaks out there! Recently, as per the reports by the company, Microchip firm Qualcomm Inc is joining Amazon.com Inc to spread the massive use of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant in wireless headphones. Under this deal, Qualcomm would release a set of chips that any maker of Bluetooth headphones can use to embed Alexa directly into the device. So after this when the headphones are paired to a phone with the Alexa app on it, users would be able to talk to the voice assistant by tapping a button on the headphones. The functionality would be similar to Apple Inc’s AirPods wireless earbuds, which enable users can tap the devices to talk to Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri.
Amazon and Alphabet Inc’s Google, whose voice assistants have been mostly placed in their respective smart speakers for the home, are rushing to partner with headphone makers. Models from Bose Corp and Jabra feature Alexa built in, and Sony Corp have declared earlier this year that a software update would make some of its headphone models work with Alexa. Google Assistant can be used on headphones from Bose, JBL and Sony, along with Google’s own Pixel Buds.
So, now this Qualcomm partnership could expand that lineup. Qualcomm has developed a pre-made circuit that headphone makers can drop into their device to imbue it with Alexa. To this, Anthony Murray, senior vice president and general manager of voice and music for Qualcomm, added that, “This radically reduces their [engineering] cost and time to market. It makes it simple for the industry to adopt this.” However right now, Murray declined to comment on whether Qualcomm would make a similar offering for Google Assistant but also added that the chip firm plans to support other partners in the future.
This move is part of a broader push by Qualcomm to diversify away from its dependence on processor and modem chips for mobile phones. That business proved quite productive for Qualcomm, but its patent licensing model drew regulatory fines and lawsuits from customers such as Apple Inc.
The conclusion was added by Qualcomm at a conference in Hong Kong when Qualcomm also said it is working with action camera maker GoPro Inc to put more Qualcomm chips for image processing in the devices. The firm further added that it expects about $5 billion in revenue from non-mobile sources this year, or more than 20 percent of the $22.4 billion in sales that analysts expect.