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Knowles, Trillbit team to simplify setup of smart devices

Business news |
By Rich Pell


Micro-acoustic, audio processing, and precision device solutions provider Knowles and data over sound technology specialist Trillbit have announced a collaboration to simplify setup of voice-integrated smart devices for OEMs and consumers. The combination, say the companies, empowers Trillbit’s TrillConnect software solution to be used for IoT device authentication and commissioning in conjunction with the “always on” Knowles SmartMic IA61x family (IA610 and IA611).

Trillbit’s TrillConnect SDK, based on the company’s ‘Data over Sound’ technology, is integrated efficiently into the Knowles IA61x SmartMic, paving the way for highly secure and hassle-free onboarding and set-up solutions. Consumers can now set up devices in one touch and OEMs benefit from high customer satisfaction, say the companies.

“A challenging setup experience is one of the top reasons consumers return their smart home products and one of the largest barriers to boost consumer adoption of IoT devices,” says Mehul Kochar, Sr. Director Business Development, Audio Solutions at Knowles. “The addition of Trillbit’s TrillConnect SDK to Knowles SmartMic DSP makes it easy for OEMs to ensure their consumers have the best and the simplest setup process, in turn ensuring consumer satisfaction and lower return rates.”

Conventional Wi-Fi setup involves multiple steps and can be confusing for non-technical users. Smart home devices, such as speakers, typically do not have a user interface (aka headless) and offer little visibility to the user regarding errors during setup.

When a user needs to repeat the setup process multiple times, such as for failed initial setups, network changes, or when provisioning multiple devices, a complex initial process is compounded and can frustrate the user. This leads to poor “out-of-box” first impressions and can be the cause of customer service calls and product returns.

Implementing secure authentication is a major hurdle for headless consumer IoT devices. TrillConnect transfers a user’s Wi-Fi credential between the user’s phone and a new device without the need for Bluetooth pairing or Soft Access Point connection.

After unboxing the new device and putting it in setup mode, the customer can use the vendor’s app to pass on the credential. If the customer is using the app for the first time, then they only need to input the Wi-Fi SSID and password and click to connect. Trillbit’s SDK, embedded in the app, encodes and encrypts this data on inaudible sound waves and transfers it to the new device automatically.

The Knowles IA61x family of SmartMic Voice Wake Audio Processors with Trillbit’s ‘Data Over Sound’ technology easily integrates into any IoT-based smart home device to streamline network provisioning. The Trillbit TrillConnect SDK allows for the efficient transfer of encrypted digital data that triggers the gadget to “wake up” and enter the setup phase.

TrillConnect encodes any data into a series of near-ultrasound frequencies. This encoded data gets played by a sending device by their speaker in form of Trill tones, over the air, to a receiving device where it is received by a microphone and decoded by the Trillbit SDK.

A Knowles SmartMic makes the most efficient and cost-effective listening device that is capable of decoding the Trill tones into usable data. An OEM can customize their smartphone app to authenticate a new IoT device by integrating a Knowles SmartMic enabled with Trillbit’s decoder algorithm and securely send sensitive provisioning data with minimum consumer involvement.

The IA610 and IA611 include an “always-on” Acoustic Processor featuring Voice Wake and Voice ID keyword detector, a pre-roll buffer, and Knowles’ high-performance acoustic SiSonic MEMS technology in a single, miniature, top-port (IA611) or bottom-port (IA610) package. The IA61x family offers flexibility by supporting the most relevant audio and data interfaces. Its integrated programmable DSP with 248 KBytes of RAM is available for customer and third-party algorithms, enabling unlimited creativity.

“We are excited to collaborate with Knowles, an IoT industry leader, to solve this critical pain point for OEMs,” says Bhaskar Deo, CEO at Trillbit. “Trillbit’s ‘Data Over Sound’ is a new communication channel that bridges the gap to solving these challenges with a frictionless user experience. ‘TrillConnect’ vastly simplifies the commissioning of headless devices: one-touch setup with no pairing or configuration, no additional hardware requirements, and the ability to set up multiple devices at once. Manufacturers can provide a setup solution that is preferred by users and ultimately a better product experience.”

Knowles
Trillbit


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