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Sensory’s custom voice assistant debuts on a Linux-based microwave

May 6, 2021 — by Eric Brown 967 views

Sensory announced that its 100 percent locally processed TrulyHandsfree technology can be used to create custom voice assistants without sacrificing privacy, as demonstrated in a new Linux-based Farberware FM11VABK microwave.

Sensory’s Linux-ready TrulyHandsfree voice stack has apepared on embedded Linux products such as Estone Technology’s i.MX8M Mini based EMB-2237-AI and i.MX8M powered EMB-2238 Pico-ITX SBCs, as well as Renesas’ RZ/G Solution for HMI kit. Now Sensory has announced that its TrulyHandsfree and TrulyNatural technologies are now equipped with a Custom Domain Specific Voice Assistants capability. The software’s all-local processing avoids the privacy issues found on cloud platforms such as Alexa Voice Service (AVS) and Google Assistant.

ST’s DK2
Discovery board

Sensory announced a design win for its Custom Domain Specific Voice Assistant in the launch of Farberware’s Farberware FM11VABK. The $250 appliance is billed by Sensory as “the first truly smart voice AI-enabled microwave oven” that does not use a cloud connection for voice services. ST’s Linux-driven STM32MP1 Discovery DK1/DK2 development boards also ship with the technology.


The Farberware FM11VABK runs Linux on a quad-core, Cortex-A35-based Rockchip RK3308, which is found on products such as Radxa’s Rock Pi S SBC. The microwave’s custom voice assistant can understand 150+ sensor commands, including “Open door,” “cook popcorn,” “set timer to one minute 36 seconds,” “defrost,” and “reheat for 2 minutes.”

Farberware FM11VABK
(click image to enlarge)

Voice data is completely private, with no data collection or recordings sent to the cloud. There is no complex setup and no need for a WiFi connection or mobile app, says Sensory.

Sensory cites a recent report that calls custom voice assistants the biggest voice AI trend for 2021. Trained for specific domains, such assistants typically outperform general-purpose assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri, says Sensory. In January, Amazon announced Alexa Custom Assistant toolkit. As a cloud-based service, however, it lacks the easy setup and privacy protections of the TrulyHandsfree custom voice technology, says Sensory.

Sensory custom voice solution combines a large-vocabulary recognizer with a custom statistical language model and an NLU (natural language understanding) component to enable understanding of complex commands like, “Cook four baked potatoes.” Because the Sensory NLU engine looks for “intents” within a limited domain, the chance of being misunderstood is substantially less than with off-the-shelf assistants, claims Sensory.

“Sensory’s customer base used to be driven by companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung that licensed Sensory technology to improve their general assistant offerings,” stated Todd Mozer, CEO at Sensory. “Today we’re seeing a major shift, with most of our customers being brands that want to own and manage their own private custom voice assistant platforms.”

Custom voice demo on Farberware FM11VABK

Further information

The Farberware FM11VABK is available for $250 at the FM11VABK Amazon page. Sensory’s TrulyHandsfree and TrulyNatural platform with Custom Domain Specific Voice Assistant technology is available at an undisclosed price. More information may be found here.

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