Several world-leading Bristol companies are showing their technologies at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – the annual gathering of the consumer electronics industry in Las Vegas next month.

Technology from XMOS, Blu Wireless Technologies and Ultrahaptics has been designed into many new products on display at the show.

The far-field audio detection technology from XMOS is being used in several products such as the Martina smart assistant from Pegatron to identify voice commands accurately across a room.

“Voice-controlled human-machine interfaces will be a dominant conversation at CES”


It is also showcasing the VocalFusion Stereo Evaluation Kit (XK-VF3500-L33) – the world’s first stereo acoustic echo cancellation (AEC) far-field linear microphone array solution. The XVF3500 voice processor in the kit allows two-channel full duplex AEC for developers of smart TV, soundbar, set-top box and digital media adapters.

“The huge growth in advanced voice-controlled smart speakers – Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomePod – means that voice-controlled human-machine interfaces will be a dominant conversation at CES”, Mark Lippett (pictured right) President and CEO at XMOS tells us.

“For us, it’s about making the best user experiences, with the least intrusion into our living spaces. Not only do we deliver the highest quality voice capture and audio playback across the noisiest rooms, but our products also enable the technology to merge into the existing flat surfaces already in our environment.

“We currently have the only Amazon AVS qualified development kit with a far-field linear mic array and during the show we’ll be demonstrating the world’s first stereo-AEC far-field linear mic array solution – both capable of delivering ‘across the room’ voice interfaces.

“At CES, companies will be looking for next generation, seamless HMI – natural language interfaces that are ready for mass-market adoption and we are proving that our technology can deliver that now.”

5G wireless

Blu Wireless has developed a flexible modem chip design for high-performance 5G wireless systems at 28GHz and 60GHz.

“We’re anticipating that 5G will be a major theme running throughout CES. It’s a key enabler, not just for a high quality, fast broadband consumer experience, but for hot applications like autonomous driving and virtual reality,” says Henry Nurser, CEO of Blu Wireless (pictured left).

“Many of the industry’s biggest players will be at the show, seeking to collaborate with specialists like us who understand and can deliver this capability,” he adds.

“We’ll be showcasing our latest millimetre wave technology – demonstrating how we can facilitate the delivery of reliable ultra-fast broadband today that is both low cost and easy to deploy. Already seen as the ‘go to’ provider of flexible and reliable technology in this space, we fully anticipate having a fantastic show as we meet up with both existing and potential partners and customers.”

Bristol tech adopters

In addition, the sonic technology developed by Ultrahaptics will be used by several companies at CES to provide control of systems in mid-air.

FreeRTOS, the world’s most popular real-time operating system that was developed in Bristol will also be used in many new products at the show. This open-source core has been used as the basis of the Amazon FreeRTOS and extended with software libraries that make it easy to securely connect small, low-power devices to Amazon Web Service’s (AWS) cloud services, such as AWS IoT Core.

CES is the annual gathering of the consumer electronics industry. To find out more, check out the CES website.

Nick Flaherty