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Knowles (KN) Powers Voice Control in Smart Home Appliances

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Knowles Corporation KN has augmented its product portfolio by offering a complete development solution that facilitates seamless voice command integration in smart appliances. The solution enables OEMs and ODMs to develop smart electrical gadgets and appliances by combining voice-activated control and far-field speech recognition capabilities to capitalize on the positive macro trends in audio and edge processing solutions.

Dubbed AISonic White Goods Standard Solution, the product leverages Knowles’ AISonic Audio Edge Processor IA8201 that is optimized for machine learning competencies for high compute and low power operation. This industry-leading solution enables voice activation, hands-free control and contextual audio processing for diverse audio and voice input requirements for a wide range of IoT devices, including refrigerators, microwaves, washing machines, vacuums and dishwashers. Together with supporting sensors and pre-integrated microphones, it allows high-quality audio capture for high signal-to-noise ratio.

The solution is equipped with voice service interoperability feature that enables it to integrate multiple voice assistants in a single device and allows customers to interact with any connected device within the broader ecosystem of smart appliances through voice commands. In addition, it includes algorithms for usage with Alexa — the virtual assistant AI technology developed by Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN — and other cloud-based automatic speech recognition application programming interfaces through the Knowles OpenDSP partner program.

Voice-powered interactions are fast emerging as a critical and necessary feature as consumers tend to engage with technology through natural, spoken commands across the mobile, ear and IoT platforms. Notably, the smart appliances market is likely to witness solid growth with modern products equipped with far-field voice processing functionality. Knowles aims to capitalize on its unique capabilities in acoustics, digital signal processing and algorithms to cater to these demands.

Strong business focus, disciplined capital management and continuous research & development initiatives have helped Knowles to command a leading market position in MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) microphones, balanced armature speakers, edge processors, high performance capacitors and radio frequency filtering solutions. Its MEMS microphones are the smallest of its kind with the highest signal to noise ratio at the lowest power, while the balanced armature speakers offer the greatest output at the lowest power.

The stock has gained 33.2% in the past year compared with the industry’s growth of 57.4% in the same period.

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Zacks Investment Research

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Knowles currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the industry are Altice USA, Inc. ATUS, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and Corning Incorporated GLW, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Altice delivered an earnings surprise of 61.5%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

Corning has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 17.7%. It delivered an earnings surprise of 39%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

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