Kakao Enterprise and DSP Concepts Raise the Bar for Voice Performance in Mini Hexa Smart Speaker | audioXpress

DSP Concepts announced it partnered with South Korea’s Kakao Enterprise to enable the voice user interface in its latest Mini Hexa smart speaker (KE-H200). The Mini Hexa is the company’s fourth smart device to be released and uses DSP Concepts’ TalkTo audio front end to eliminate unreferenced sound for far-field voice control in noisy and unpredictable environments. The result ensures flawless speech recognition regardless of external sound for an optimal user experience.

The Mini Hexa has a hexagon-shaped exterior design and can be easily mounted anywhere in the house thanks to its more compact size and design when compared to the Kakao Mini and Kakao Mini C, the previous smart speakers from Kakao Enterprise. DSP Concepts’s TalkTo improved speech recognition accuracy and also supports faster and more stable connectivity across the Mini Hexa’s six microphone system and is fully compatible with Kakao Enterprise’s Kakao i Voice Engine.

“When we started to design the Mini Hexa we knew we needed an audio front end that could more effectively detect user commands even when there’s a TV on or kids playing, and could also support a six-microphone array in such a compact device. TalkTo checks both of those boxes with the added benefit of automatically optimizing for the smart speaker application, which saved substantial time and engineering bandwidth. We’re very pleased with the end result,” Kakao Enterprise stated.

The device’s six high-performance microphones powered by TalkTo contain both voice recognition beamforming and echo cancellation functionalities, maximizing the overall voice control performance. The Mini Hexa implementation benefited from TalkTo’s unique multichannel AEC ability, cancelling up to 30dB of unreferenced noise.

“Our work with Kakao Enterprise reinforces the value of TalkTo from both a design flexibility and product performance perspective,” says Paul Beckmann, CTO and co-founder of DSP Concepts. “Not only has the pandemic accelerated demand for voice technology, it’s also raised expectations for performance. Today’s consumer expects their smart speaker to hear them from multiple rooms in their home, which is why TalkTo’s far-field voice detection is so valuable for OEMs.”

In addition to its newly compact design and boosted microphone systems, the Mini Hexa’s ability to seamlessly connect with other devices has also been enhanced, and separating the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennas improved both network speed and stability.

Kakao Enterprise is an AI technology-focused enterprise IT company, originated from Kakao, South Korea’s largest mobile messaging app operator with services including mobile messaging (Kakao Talk), gaming (Kakao Games), music (Melon), e-mail (Daum Mail), search (Daum Search), news (Daum News), and more. Kakao Enterprise was spun off from Kakao in December 2019 to better leverage the group’s cutting-edge AI technologies, exceptional R&D capabilities, and comprehensive expertise into innovative, ready-to-deploy business services.

The Mini Hexa is available for purchase in-stores and online at kakao.ai/product/minihexa.

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