First Russian-speaking smart speaker

“Fraunhofer upHear VQE” helps intelligent speakers understand commands

© Yandex

Yandex, a technology company that builds intelligent products and services powered by machine learning, has incorporated Fraunhofer’s upHear Voice Quality Enhancement technology into its first smart speaker, enabling the device to accurately hear voice commands issued from anywhere in a room.

Fraunhofer’s upHear Voice Quality Enhancement ensures that Yandex’s new smart speaker, Yandex.Station and the embedded intelligent assistant Alice, can hear intelligible verbal commands. Fraunhofer provided a software solution that enhances the signals collected by the microphone array technology for far-field voice capturing. This ensures that Yandex’s highly reliable keyword spotter and speech recognizer receive a clean voice signal.

upHear VQE removes interfering sounds captured by the smart speaker’s microphones, extracts the user’s voice and cancels out acoustical echoes. Fraunhofer’s upHear Voice Quality Enhancement solution supports full-bandwidth audio and is a suitable voice enhancement step for a wide range of applica- tions, including natural language understanding in mobile and smart home devices. It is a fully integrated and flexible solution which enables full-duplex conversations and barge-in support with outstanding audio quality.