Piezoelectric MEMS microphones power first hands-free Amazon Alexa headset with ZeroPower Listening
Vesper, developer of the world’s most advanced acoustic sensors, announced that its proprietary ZeroPower Listening™ (ZPL) technology has been certified by Amazon for extended battery and far-field voice interactions. Vesper’s piezoelectric MEMS microphones are powering the first hands-free, extended battery life Alexa-enabled headset that uses ZPL technology.
The headset, LuduanV4, is a 2-mic Bluetooth neckband headset with Alexa built-in, allowing customers to interact and access thousands of Alexa skills such as music playback and smart home controls. The headset, which is based on Ambiq’s Apollo3 Blue Wireless SoC, incorporates Vesper’s VM1010, a piezoelectric MEMS microphone with ZPL technology, which allows systems to be in deep hibernation mode until awoken by a ‘wake word,‘ thereby greatly extending battery life.
ZeroPower Listening eliminates the button in push-to-talk devices. Vesper’s VM1010, the first wake-on sound MEMS microphone for consumer electronics, brings voice activation to battery-powered devices of all kinds. Power consumption is significantly reduced with ZPL (about 80% in the right environment) allowing the battery life on headsets, remote controls and other smart devices to outlast products currently on the market. Durability in the headset is also improved through Vesper’s technology as it can extend the microphone’s battery life from five to 20 times. Vesper’s patented technology is pioneering the shift from push-to-talk to far-field battery-operated devices.
“Over the last year, we’ve collaborated with the Alexa Voice Service team at Amazon to develop this major advancement in low power to bring far-field Alexa capabilities to battery-powered devices,” said Matt Crowley, CEO of Vesper. “This is the first Alexa-powered headset to feature ZeroPower Listening, which will greatly extend battery life and voice interface for consumers.”
Vesper uses piezoelectric materials to create the most reliable and advanced sensors and MEMS microphones, representing a fundamental departure from capacitive MEMS microphones that have dominated the market for decades. Piezoelectric microphones operate on a completely different phenomenon – the direct conversion of mechanical sound energy into electrical energy via the piezoelectric effect. Because the piezoelectric effect directly transduces mechanical sound energy into an electrical signal, Vesper microphones can function as a quiescent sound sensor.
Backed by Amazon Alexa Fund, Vesper’s microphones solve a critical need for stable, reliable and long-lasting microphone arrays that operate in environmentally harsh surroundings. All Vesper microphones are natively immune to environmental contaminants such as dust, water, moisture, oil and particles.
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