Voice-controlled embedded vision AI systems

July 29, 2021 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Voice-controlled embedded vision AI systems
Renesas and Syntiant develop voice-controlled multimodal AI for advanced vision systems in IoT and Edge applications.

Renesas Electronics Corporation and Syntiant have announced the joint development of a voice-controlled multimodal AI that enables low-power contactless operation for image processing in vision AI-based IoT and edge systems, such as self-checkout machines, security cameras, and video conference systems, and smart appliances such as robotic cleaning devices.

The new system combines the Renesas RZ/V Series vision AI microprocessor unit (MPU) and the low-power multimodal, multi-feature Syntiant® NDP120 Neural Decision Processor™ to deliver advanced voice and image processing capabilities. The joint system features always-on functionality with quick voice-triggered activation from standby mode to perform object recognition, facial recognition, and other vision-based tasks that are critical functions in security cameras and other systems. For example, while user-defined voice cues drive activation and system operation, vision AI recognition tracks operator behavior and controls operation or issues a warning when suspicious actions are detected.

The multimodal architecture makes it easier to create contactless user experiences for vision AI-based systems. Using a dedicated, power-efficient chip for voice recognition reduces standby power consumption while speeding up system development because it is possible to develop software independently of the vision AI functionality.

“We anticipate that demand for multimodal systems that use multiple streams of input information – both image and voice – will increase moving forward as a way to improve both ease of use and safety,” said Hiroto Nitta, Senior Vice President and Head of SoC Business in the IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit at Renesas. “Through the collaboration between Renesas, a leader in low-power image AI technology, and Syntiant, a leader in voice AI technology, we will accelerate the adoption of low-power, ultra-small smart voice AI technology in embedded systems and deliver new combined solutions to customers globally.”  


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