A Microphone That Never Shuts Off?

Innovation December 30, 2016

Really? Could there be such a device out there? At the same time, you may be asking yourself about now, for what purpose? Think for a moment about all of the hard to miss attention you have seen across the various media outlets about the increasing popularity of the so-called digital assistants. You know, the digital assistants such as the ubiquitous Siri and now the coming on strong Alexa from Amazon.

As you can readily understand, these devices require the use of a microphone that can and does pick up on even the faintest of voices from across the room. But here is the point you need to understand about current microphone technology. In the most commonly available microphone technologies available to both Siri and Alexa, these devices consume quite a bit of power. This is due to the simple fact that these microphones consume power as they “listen” whether there is anything to listen to or not. In other words, these Siri and Alexa microphones have to be always “ON’ and ready to pick up the faintest whisper. That sort of ever ready active listening is in no uncertain terms a power drain.

Until its not. There is an exciting new development in this sort of microphone technology that is being pioneered by a company by the name of Vesper. Get this: Vesper is specifically focused on microphone technology optimized for the digital assistants discussed above. Incredibly, Vesper has pioneered a technology that makes use of the actual sound waves themselves to power the embedded microphone.

For the record, this highly innovative microphone is referred to as the Vesper VM1010. More to the point, this VM1010 is notable due to the use of the piezoelectric microphone technology. As you may well recall back from your High School or University physics classes, the piezoelectric effect is the physical effect of certain materials to generate an electric charge in response to an applied force. In other words, speaking into a piezoelectric microphone provides the power needed by the microphone to operate.

Truth be told, although this sort of thing sounds like something from science fiction, the technology is real and could well be showing up in your next Smartphone. To get a better sense of just how revolutionary this new VM1010 actually is, take note that Vesper just raised yet another $15 Million in Series A funding.

Bottom line: the Vesper VM1010 could bring in ever more useful digital assistants while stopping the ever present drain on your cell battery.

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