Want to build an always-on listening device which can be activated simply by voice or noise, without even pressing a button? Vesper unveils the first wake-on sound microphone which switches while drawing “nearly zero power”. When this device is embedded in a voice-powered TV remote control or smart speaker, for example, it could allow you to turn on your device from across the room without having to push a button and without diminishing battery life.
Consuming only 3 µA of current while in listening mode, the newest piezoelectric MEMS microphone, VM1010, will dramatically advance voice and acoustic event monitoring. It the first commercial quiescent-sensing MEMS device for consumer products.
“Our quiescent-sensing MEMS microphone, VM1010, is the only device that uses sound energy itself to wake a system from full power-down,” said Matt Crowley, CEO, Vesper. “Even when fully powered-off, batteries in smartphones and smart speakers naturally dissipate 40-80uA, which is far more current than VM1010 needs. This means that there is no difference in battery-life for a system using VM1010 in listening mode and a fully powered-down conventional system.”
The VM1010 claims to extend the distance of far field voice control in battery-powered systems as it preserves its very high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) — which is essential to improving acoustic range — even in sleep mode.
The mic uses a rugged piezoelectric transducer that is immune to dust, water, oils, humidity, particles and other environmental contaminants, making it ideal for deployments outdoors or in kitchens and automobiles.
“For years the electronics industry has envisioned the development of quiescent sensors that consume no power until the appropriate stimulus occurs, but no company has demonstrated this previously in a real commercial device,” said Peter Cooney, principal analyst and director, SAR Insight & Consulting. “Vesper’s latest piezoelectric MEMS microphone has the potential to advance quiescent sensing into the commercial realm, ushering in a new era of ubiquitous always on sensors that can run indefinitely on small batteries.”
Engineering samples of VM1010 are available now to highly qualified customers developing technologically advanced systems. Production samples will be available in Q4 2016.
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