Blog / December 12, 2016
Johnny Valentine, host of Early Stage – a weekly podcast focusing on top entrepreneurs at the Seed and Series A stages of their startups — recently interviewed Vesper CEO Matt Crowley at company headquarters in Boston about the role of MEMS microphones in consumer electronics. Unless you have a seat on Fantastic Voyage and can actually travel inside Matt’s head to learn what he thinks about voice-interface devices, listening to Johnny’s interview is the next best thing.
What’s the next big trend in consumer electronics? Matt says that smart speakers such as Amazon Echo and the recent explosion of diverse device types that have voice interfaces are the first “canary in the coal mine” to show us what’s coming next. The second product category includes hearables such as Bragi Dash, Doppler Labs’ Hear One, and Apple AirPods, all of which have the potential to get you whatever information you want while you are on the go.
Without naming names, Matt shared a few examples of customers working on some extremely creative MEMS microphone-based applications, including an office furniture manufacturer that wants to make smart chairs that automatically adjust seat temperature if a person is sitting in the chair, security-detection devices that activate in response to acoustic events (like the sound of breaking glass), and predictive automobile maintenance systems made possible by microphones “listening” for hiccups in the drive shaft. In the nearish future, Matt thinks that sensors and artificial intelligence engines working together will leverage a vast database of sounds to know whether there is a problem requiring a specific response. These creative application examples are just the beginning.
Where is Vesper in this emerging world?
“I believe that there is always some core component that does well in every new wave of computing,” said Matt. “In the PC era, it was Intel inside. In the mobile phone era, Qualcomm was probably the dominant component manufacturer. Who’s going to be the enabling component for this voice revolution? I think that Vesper is in a great position to be that company. And if you look at the size of the market, it’s growing tremendously.”
Want more of what’s inside Matt’s head? Click here to listen to the complete Early Stage podcast of Johnny’s interview with Matt.