AdMobilize introduced its MATRIX Voice dev board at this week’s Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas, marking what the company expects will be a major advancement in the world of artificial intelligence-based audience analytics technology for digital signage.
“Put simply, the company that introduced AI-powered audience analytics to the digital signage industry is now bringing voice recognition functionality to both manufacturers and systems integrators, alike, through its MATRIX product line,” said AdMobilize co-founder and CEO Rodolfo Saccoman in a press release.
“We believe that voice engagement technologies will make digital signage a more compelling and sticky communications solution for an even broader range of vertical markets. The combination of audience analytics technology and voice recognition functionality truly represents the next chapter in this constantly evolving industry — and AdMobilize is at the forefront of making this chapter a reality,” said Saccoman.
MATRIX Voice “will integrate with any voice recognition service (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or any other third-party service) at any time,” according to the AdMobilize press release. It sells for $55.
“MATRIX Voice puts the power of flexibility directly in the hands of the manufacturer and systems integrator, freeing them from being confined to any one of the currently available voice services. This enables plug-and-play custom voice solutions to go mainstream,” Saccoman said in the announcement.
Security for MATRIX Voice Audience Analytics Technology
Equally important, according to Saccoman, is the security MATRIX Voice provides. For retailers who do not want Amazon listening to, recording and storing all store information on its cloud, MATRIX Voice “is the ideal solution as it provides the capability to process voice recognition at the edge and not strictly in the cloud,” according to the AdMobilize press release.
MATRIX Voice can be run on a Raspberry Pi or alone, thanks to an optional module (ESP32) that equips it with a micro-controller as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
MATRIX Voice has an 8 microphone array, a 3.5mm audio output jack, 2 speaker outputs, a 3A audio amplifier, 24 expansion GPIO ports, 64MB of RAM, 64MB of Flash, and the second tier Spartan 6 FPGA that allows manufacturers and integrators to customize the functions of the GPIO pins as well as implement one’s own audio and voice algorithms.
From a software perspective, the company has created three library layers to program the MATRIX Voice. The first layer, HAL, allows integrators to program it in C++, providing the closest access to the hardware.
The second layer, MATRIX Core, contains protocol buffers and ZeroMQ that enable designers to program the MATRIX Voice in over 40 languages for complete interoperability with any pre-existing code base.
“Let’s say you have 50 digital screen directories already installed within a mall,” Saccoman said.
“With MATRIX Voice you can now place it within the top or bottom of the directory (depending on space and optimal audio clarity for the microphones) and then use a third-party voice recognition service to create custom ‘wake’ words and responses to enable the shopper to ask, ‘Directory, where is Macy’s?’ and have the directory respond with the route to Macy’s from the shoppers location.
“All sorts of voice-activated cues and information can now be programmed into a digital signage network, opening up the door to a whole new series of applications.”