-VM1010 lets battery-powered devices run for months or years instead of days
BOSTON – (May 24, 2017) – Vesper, developer of the world’s most advanced and reliable acoustic sensors, today launched VM1010, the first MEMS microphone to bring voice activation to battery-powered consumer devices — while drawing nearly zero power.
The inaugural member of Vesper’s ZeroPower Listening™ MEMS microphone product line, VM1010 is a tiny, ultra-rugged piezoelectric MEMS microphone that allows product designers to offer touchless user interfaces to consumers, without any power-consumption penalty. Consuming a mere 6 µA while in listening mode, VM1010 extends battery life to months or years by enabling the rest of the system to completely power down while waiting for a keyword. That is a major advantage to designers who can create an entirely new class of rugged, battery-operated, voice-interface devices that work anywhere.
“Consumers want to interact with their electronic devices using just their voice. We are seeing a Cambrian Explosion of voice-enabled consumer electronics, including smart speakers, smart earbuds, and diverse IoT products,” said Matt Crowley, CEO, Vesper. “The problem is that speech recognition consumes a lot of power, 1000 uW or more, and that is why most voice-activated devices must be plugged in. By using unique materials that directly convert sound energy into electrical energy, VM1010 is the only MEMS microphone that uses sound energy itself to wake devices from sleep, while consuming negligible power. That’s a huge advantage to consumers who will be able to use their hearables, wearables, smart speakers, and event-detection systems for months or even years at a time, without recharging or replacing batteries.”
Amazon’s Alexa Fund has recently supported both Vesper and Invoxia, as two startups that are advancing voice user interface through their respective technologies. Invoxia is also preparing to launch its soon-to-be-released VM1010-based smart home hub. (See: Vesper Raises $15M Series A to Drive Pervasive Voice Interfaces and Amazon Announces the Next Alexa Fund Recipient: Invoxia.)
“When we first tested VM1010, we could hardly believe how much it extended battery life. We are excited to work with Vesper as we prepare to launch the world’s first ZeroPower Listening smart home hub in the coming months,” said Serge Renouard, CEO, Invoxia. “We expect consumers to delight in their ability to use Amazon Alexa as they wake our new smart speaker from sleep, without having to push a button to activate a product that they can use anywhere.”
VM1010 is a low-noise, high dynamic range, single-ended analog output piezoelectric MEMS microphone. It features a configurable voice zone, allowing voice in a 5-foot radius to 20-foot radius-zone to trigger the system and increase to a normal operation mode. When the environment is quiet, the system can enter ZeroPower Listening mode and the entire system can power down.
Like other Vesper piezoelectric MEMS microphones, VM1010 sets the standard for reliability and stability, even in harsh environments. It is dustproof to IP5X and waterproof to IPX7. Because it is stable in all environments, VM1010 microphones are also ideally suited to microphone arrays, which are critical to far-field audio applications.
Drawing a mere 6 µA of power in always-listening mode, VM1010 extends battery life by >10x.
VM1010 is a single-ended analog piezoelectric MEMS microphone. VM1010 is currently sampling and is available online through Digi-Key. Test boards and reference design boards using VM1010, DSP Group’s DSPG DBMD6 and Sensory’s Truly Handsfree™ wake word algorithms are available from Vesper via an exclusive invitation-only program.
Vesper is a privately held advanced sensor company based in Boston, MA. With origins at the University of Michigan and initial funding from NASA, NSF and the NIH, Vesper’s award-winning microphones are driving a new era of pervasive voice interfaces and acoustic event detection via a proprietary piezoelectric MEMS technology. These products include hearables/wearables, smartphones, smart speakers, Internet of Things (IoT) devices and connected cars. Vesper is funded by Accomplice, Amazon’s Alexa Fund, AAC Technologies, Hyperplane, and other strategic partners. For more information about Vesper, please contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or web: www.vespermems.com.
ZeroPower Listening is a trademark, and the Vesper logo is a registered trademark of Vesper. All other product and company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.
Matt Crowley, Vesper
Maria Vetrano, Vetrano Communications