Audience Processors Sport Always-on MotionQ Technology: MWC

The Audience MQ100 is a stand-alone motion processor designed to manage and fuse information from a device's various sensors in extremely low power.

Mobile voice and audio processing specialist Audience announced the introduction of its first multisensory processors, the MQ100 and the eS703 and eS705 with Always-on MotionQ technology, at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) convention in Barcelona, Spain.

In the same way that the company’s Always-on VoiceQ technology, launched at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), enables the user’s voice to wake devices and issue simple commands, MotionQ technology draws on cues from the gyroscope, magnetometer, accelerometer and pressure sensors to provide contextual information.

MotionQ technology enables Always-on, contextually aware applications such as activity monitoring and indoor navigation as well as interpreting smartphone gesture information such as tapping, while consuming less than 5mW, which the company says is significantly less than other motion-processing architectures.

The information can then be used to power applications spanning fitness, navigation and activity recognition, as well as the ability to detect typical smartphone gestures such as taps, shakes, swipes and more.

The company said it expects the MQ100, eS703 and eS705 to be available for shipment in late 2014, and noted the processors are designed to integrate with motion and environmental sensor fusion software from a wide variety of providers.

"Premium smartphones need to be always-on, so they can understand and act upon voice commands and continuously track motion, enabling apps like health and fitness tracking," Peter Santos, president and CEO of Audience, said in a statement. "Our new MotionQ technology, combined with VoiceQ, will enable broad contextual awareness on mobile devices at extremely low power, providing truly natural user experiences."

The Audience MQ100 is a stand-alone motion processor designed to manage and fuse information from a device's various sensors in extremely low power.

To keep a device in Always-on mode, current motion processing implementations call for individual sensors to constantly communicate with high-powered application processors (AP) for always-on capabilities, resulting in power consumption of between 60-200 mW, far higher than what Audience claims its processors can do.

The eS703 and eS705 processors connect to the motion sensors in the mobile device, enabling motion-assisted voice processing where inertial sensor data is used to enhance the mobile voice experience.

The eS703 in particular features the company's fourth generation voice and audio processor with integrated MotionQ technology, while the company's new flagship product, the eS705, is a fully featured Always-on device with MotionQ and VoiceQ technology.

In addition, the sensor data is buffered on-chip, transferring the data to the host for further use by the operating system and mobile apps.