VocalZoom and Cobalt Partner on Speeding the Path to Near-Perfect Speech Recognition Solutions


News Highlights:

  • Companies will create disruptive voice-control solutions, combining VocalZoom’s Human to Machine Communication (HMC) sensor with Cobalt’s speech recognition engine.
  • Tests show near-perfect speech recognition in noisy environments as VocalZoom sensor translates facial vibrations into a clean, isolated voice source signal for the Cobalt speech recognition engine.
  • The VocalZoom sensor delivers a nearly 60 percent performance improvement and connects directly to Cobalt’s engine to give product developers the easiest path to deployment.
  • VocalZoom will demonstrate its HMC optical sensor technology in the Intel Startup Pavilion (Hall 8, Stand 16) at the 4YFN (4 Years From Now) Connecting Startups conference during Mobile World Congress 2016.

Yokneam Illit, Israel, and Tyngsborough, MA – Feb. 16, 2016VocalZoom, a leading supplier of Human-to-Machine Communication (HMC) optical sensors that enable a more natural, personalized and secure voice-control experience, today announced that it will be collaborating with Cobalt Speech & Language, Inc., to deliver a disruptive new, end-to-end solution for voice control in the connected car, head-mounted devices and access control applications. The two companies have signed an agreement to combine VocalZoom’s optical HMC voice sensor technology with Cobalt’s speech recognition engine, creating a comprehensive voice-control development platform for products that deliver near-perfect performance even in noisy environments with other people speaking in the background.

“I’ve been working to advance the state of the art in speech recognition technology for more than two decades, and have achieved more performance improvements working with VocalZoom’s HMC sensor in two months than would typically be seen in two years with conventional approaches,” said Cobalt founder and chief executive officer Jeff Adams, who previously built and managed world-class speech and language software groups at Nuance, Yap and Amazon. “I believe we are now poised for unprecedented breakthroughs and a new realm of voice control product possibilities using this combined solution.  It will open the next chapter in how we control our increasingly digital world.”

Traditional solutions use one, two or an array of acoustic microphones with noise reduction technology, but performance is generally unsatisfactory and the industry has struggled to achieve even single-digit percentage improvements. Today’s systems can’t provide clean enough, isolated speaker input that machines can understand. In contrast, products that incorporate VocalZoom’s HMC optical sensor are able to acquire and measure facial vibrations during speech, and combine this additional data with the output from acoustic microphones to create an isolated, near-perfect reference signal – regardless of noise levels. VocalZoom and Cobalt have conducted tests under noisy conditions that show an almost 60 percent improvement for Cobalt’s speech recognition engine with the VocalZoom sensor, using the industry’s most widely adopted architecture featuring an acoustic microphone and noise reduction technology.

“We are pleased to be working with Cobalt and its team of industry leaders, who’ve been at the forefront of so many of today’s speech recognition technology innovations,” said Rammy Bahalul, vice president of sales and business development for VocalZoom. “Together, we have demonstrated how easy it is to combine the VocalZoom HMC sensor with Cobalt’s speech recognition solution, which will give consumer electronics manufacturers, worldwide, a platform for significantly improving their current products with no changes required to their existing speech architecture or noise reduction algorithm.”

VocalZoom is working with Cobalt to create an easy-to-use product development platform with the HMC sensor and Cobalt’s speech recognition engine so that developers can speed time to market for significantly better-performing products based on their existing voice-control system architectures and noise-reduction technology. Each company will be contributing proprietary products and technology for the jointly developed platform, which will be offered to mutual customers under their own sales and licensing agreements.

VocalZoom at 4YFN During Mobile World Congress

VocalZoom will be at the 4YFN (4 Years From Now) Connecting Startups conference during Mobile World Congress 2016, February 22-25, 2016, in Barcelona, Spain. The company will be demonstrating its HMC optical sensor technology in the Intel Startup Pavilion, Hall 8 at Fira Montjuic – 4YFN Stand 16.

About VocalZoom

VocalZoom supplies Human-to-Machine Communication (HMC) sensors for delivering a, natural, personalized and secure voice-controlled user experience in today’s increasingly mobile and interconnected world. The sensors enable accurate and reliable voice control and biometrics authentication in any environment, regardless of noise. Applications including mobile secure payments, headsets and wearables, mobile phones, access control, smart home solutions, and hands-free automotive voice control. For more information, visit www.VocalZoom.com and follow the company on LinkedIn.

About Cobalt Speech & Language

Cobalt Speech & Language, Inc. is an independent, commercial software lab. The company’s founders previously pioneered ground-breaking consumer speech recognition technology for Dragon, Nuance, Yap, and Amazon.  Cobalt is recognized as a leader in developing custom speech recognition applications. For more information, visit http://www.cobaltspeech.com/.


Kelly Poffenberger

Magnet PR Group for VocalZoom