What We Learned at IFA 2022
It was a pleasure to see old friends and new faces at the IFA 2022 in Berlin – the home of world’s top consumer electronics and home appliance brands. We came to check the trends and achievements in smartwatches, earbuds, and home appliances – the three areas where NASP technology can be a disruptive force.
There didn’t seem to be any major breakthroughs in the use of AI, unless you count Siemens’ “Individual Browning Function” where AI makes sure the oven turns off when a preferred browning level is reached and sends you a notification.
We did see that smartwatch manufacturers have greatly advanced in energy efficiency with multi-day battery life and all the major players are selling better sleep, stress, and activity measurements. We saw strong demand for more health-related features and sensors, where the trust of measurement must be bulletproof. For example, Fitbit introduced an FDA-cleared and CE-marked algorithm for PPG signal processing to detect atrial fibrillation. This and other developments show smartwatches becoming cornerstones in health and well-being management.
As we talked with people at the show how POLYN’s NASP NeuroSense can advance their next generations of devices, we found strong interest in customer-centric Human Activity Recognition. User experience is critical, so brands are making every effort to enrich and automate HAR.
As new activities are added by brands based on customer demand, the challenge is that currently used hardware leaves no place for customer personalization.
That’s where POLYN’s NeuroSense comes in. It offers customizable activities and opens new business models, such as coach/trainee movement comparison. In addition, it is energy efficient, with robust sensor fusion and a microphone for accurate offline voice interface.
Voice assistance powered by Amazon Alexa has become a common feature. Following Apple’s example, brands have introduced a subscription business model for some premium features.
We saw that earbuds brands – Motorola, LG, and others – are racing towards better clarity in voice offering hybrid ANC (active noise cancellation) and ENC (environment noise cancellation) solutions. From two to six microphones are used to ensure clear sound. Our NASP-based NeuroVoice surprised them with the fact that to achieve superior results for both incoming and outgoing calls we need just one microphone, making the whole system simpler, more intelligent, and more power efficient.
As a bonus, NeuroVoice converts an ordinary earbud into a hearing assistance device, augmenting the sound of voice during a normal talk between people in a noisy place. The speech is taken by microphone and passed through our chip, delivering only human voice straight to the ear and cutting off all noises. When potential customers see the difference, there is definitely a “wow effect.”
In the home appliances arena, we noticed the advent of voice control interfaces, but disappointed that this functionality is enabled by Amazon Alexa. That means the “big ear” is always present in your kitchen. Alternatively, POLYN’s NeuroVoice with its on-device keyword spotting function could keep your private conversations private.
There are clear opportunities for NASP technology in all these areas.