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In a call yesterday, I was reminded of how fickle hardware can be when it comes to voice. A small example is the little channel created by my hardshell cellphone case that can make voice recognition that much worse if I speak at the wrong angle.

Microphone placement on hardware can be very problematic. There are a few things that can create problems:

  • Depth of the channel in which the microphone is placed
  • Adhesive accidentally blocking the microphone
  • Vibration from the case can overwhelm the microphone signal
  • Proximity to sound output

A few years back, we had small gaskets that were used to isolate the Ubi’s microphones from their case. These gaskets were stored in a ziplock bag on the assembly line and one day… poof… they disappeared. They were so specialized that it delayed delivery of several hundreds devices for weeks.

There is a need for making it easier to place mics on hardware products — either by providing ready to mount boards and covers or pre-sealed mics that are less prone to error in placement.

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Independent daily thoughts on all things future, voice technologies and AI. More at http://linkedin.com/in/grebler

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