Ok Galaxy: SGS5 to get Moto X always listening feature
The Samsung Galaxy S5 and other future smartphones and phablets, like the next Samsung Note, are likely to get new listening capabilities, thanks to a new audio motion sensor chip created by audio company Audience.
The chip, the latest from the Silicon-based company, is likely to go into the new SGS5 smartphone being announced later today.
"You'll see an announcement as early as next week," a spokesman told Pocket-lint during a briefing ahead of the official announcement at MWC in Barcelona.
The new motion chip, which is low power so can always be on, will add the ability to listen for commands from users in a similar way to the Motorola Moto X.
With the Moto X users simply have to say "Ok Google" before they start barking orders at the phone to open apps or search the internet.
The problem with the system, says Audience, is that the main processor has to be on to hear the command and that both drains battery and uses up resources.
The plan with the new MQ100 motion audio processor, is to allow a low-power processor to do the same work but without a drain on the battery, and to capitalise on Audience's very clever noise cancelation capabilities. A number of phones already use separate motion sensors to track the phone's movement - Apple, for example, has one called the M7.
Samsung has used the company's audio processors in its phones since the Samsung Galaxy S2, and although Audience hasn't outright confirmed the news, with phrases coming out of the spokespeople in our briefing like "you could for instance say 'Ok Galaxy'" and the promise that the processor would be in devices shipping in Q2 and Q3, it is hard to imagine the new audio processor not making it into the new flagship device.
The company says the addition of the new motion audio sensor will also mean that manufacturers who choose to install the technology - Audience works with over 200 brands around the world, will also be able to monitor sound as well as motion the entire time the phone is on. That could have a huge impact on fitness or security apps.
On the fitness front it means your phone could track and monitor breathing as well as your movement. In an example given by Audience, that could be snoring while you sleep or breathing while you run.
On the security front it could be that the phone is capable of not only detecting when you say a specific word, but that it is also you actually saying it as well as whether you are moving the phone while saying a specific phrase. Imagine your password is Stuart and you draw out an "S" in the air as you say the word.
Using software, that Audience admitted hasn't been developed yet, it could mean a family using a tablet would be able to log in to their own accounts on the same device simply by talking to the tablet.
In an extreme example, you could have a security app that would only open if a number of people are present all saying their passwords in sequence. The technology would be able to determine whether the voice saying their part was the right voice and the right word.
Aside from the new motion features, the company has also enhanced the audio cancelling capabilities that it plans to offer manufacturers like LG and Samsung. The new processor should be making its way into devices in the coming months.
Samsung is expected to announced the Samsung Galaxy S5 at its Unpacked event at Mobile World Congress later tonight.