An icon on a digital keyboard for voice control technology.

Voice control technology is improving.

Whether it’s Siri, Alexa, or Cortana, a lot of technology company are starting to implement voice control technology. As it continues to evolve, we will soon see it everywhere, from our televisions to our appliances. We see the seeds of this evolution from researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). They have developed a low-power chip for automatic speech recognition in electronic devices.

The Rise of Voice Control Technology

It’s amazing how fast voice control technology has caught on with users. According to Timothy Tuttle of MindMeld, more than 10 percent of all global searches were made with voice controls in 2015. That more than 50 billion searches a month – an astonishing number!

Within the past decade, we have seen several advancements. Siri is implemented into all iOS technology, Microsoft experiment with Cortana and the Kinect, and cars are using the technology to assist drivers. As the technology becomes better and more accurate, people are also beginning to see its value.

The New Voice Control Chip

Most voice control technology requires about 1 watt of power to work effectively. MIT has created a new chip that only requires 0.2 to 10 milliwatts of power. This saves devices 90 to 99 percent of the power these chips usually take. Now, smaller and simpler devices can use voice technology without having to worry about the power drain.

Michael Price, the lead designer of the chip and MIT graduate student, has this to say: “I don’t think that we really developed this technology for a particular application … We have tried to put the infrastructure in place to provide better trade-offs to a system designer than they would have had with previous technology, whether it was software or hardware acceleration.”

Who knows what advancements this technology can lead to. The chip makes voice controls possible for a wider range of devices. Hopefully, companies can put the extra power to good use.