Arcturus Demonstrates Voice Control Interface for Industrial Applications, Home Automation and Appliance Control at the Freescale Technology Forum

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Latest middleware software module enables large-dictionary, speaker independent command recognition using low-cost ColdFire embedded microprocessor device.

Arcturus Networks Inc.

Arcturus Networks Inc. today demonstrated live at the Freescale Technology Forum in Orlando Florida the use of a new software module specifically designed to provide a voice control interface for embedded devices. The hands-on lab featured two 32-bit Freescale ColdFire V3 hardware platforms running specialized software that accepts spoken-word commands to control system functions and external devices. The software, targeted at developers, demonstrated how the system could be used in home automation applications, patient monitoring, appliance control, automated order taking or other applications where a touch interface may not be practical or desirable.

The command recognition software is built on top of existing Arcturus Middleware that already supports digital voice and telephony functionality. The system provides an application framework that decodes human voice using a speaker independent speech recognition model. The system post-parses the output of the speech recognition application to look for command matches, signal success or failure and execute associated actions. The application framework is extensible and includes facilities to run internal commands, launch applications, place a telephone call or control external devices.

The speech recognition application uses an industry leading acoustic model based on 78,000 training utterances or the equivalent of approximately 73 hours of speech. The implementation contains a run-time configurable vocabulary to give developers a virtually unlimited command set, without having to recompile or update firmware. A run-time configurable sentence corpus provides increased command match determinism with no significant impact on system resource requirements.

“When compared with a touch screen and LCD, adding a small microphone or speaker represents a fraction of the system cost and size,” said David Steele, product manager at Arcturus. “Many applications can benefit from this, from devices like ticketing equipment and vending machines to home automation systems. A key area of interest is devices that can help overcome the mobility and safety issues faced by our aging population.”

In addition to demonstrating how to place and receive calls, the hands-on lab also showed developers how they could use the middleware as a voice interface to control external devices through the general purpose I/O of the ColdFire processor. The hands-on lab made use of an out-of-the-box demo that assigned a group of digital outputs to a configurable table of voice command matches. Using this demo, developers were able to quickly create a powerful voice control system and interface it with external equipment such as appliances, lights, actuators or controls.

Pricing and Availability
The solution is currently available from Arcturus as part of a suite of licensed Middleware available for the uC53017 embedded voice module. Installation support is provided. In addition, through a partnership with Arcturus, Freescale is providing a version available at no charge with the purchase of a MCF53015-EVB development board.

About Arcturus Networks Inc.
Arcturus Networks Inc. is a leader in providing embedded solutions for communication and industrial applications. Recognized as a pioneer of uClinux, Arcturus has contributed to the innovation of thousands of products and helped to establish embedded Linux solutions as a defacto global standard. Arcturus simplifies product development by creating enabling technologies including a line of product-ready hardware modules, corresponding open source OS packages and middleware solutions for device management, voice and media. Arcturus middleware is award winning and certified interoperable by leading infrastructure vendors. For more information, visit http://www.arcturusnetworks.com.

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