XMOS in Bristol has launched a development kit that allows TV makers to add Amazon’s Alexa voice control for less than a dollar.

The algorithms developed by XMOS use two microphones rather than four and runs on the specialised real time microcontroller the company developed in Bristol.

The $0.99 XVF3510 voice processor chip runs the VocalFusion development kit and can pick up voices across the room by isolating a voice command from every other sound in the room, including any media streaming through the TV itself.

The company has been working on making voice control technology cost effective over the last two years with backing from German companies Infineon Technologies and Robert Bosch as well as several global venture capital companies. So far the company has raised over £67m.

A Stereo Acoustic Echo Canceller algorithm suppresses unwanted speaker echo and locks onto a particular voice, while the Interference Canceller algorithm cancels out the unwanted background noise.

“Giving people the freedom to control the TV with their voice from anywhere in the room, is a more natural experience – you simply tell your TV what you want to watch.” said Mark Lippett, CEO, XMOS. “Our new far-field voice processor gives developers an easy to implement solution, at a very compelling price.”

“The recent uptake and demand for devices featuring voice assistants has continued to surge”, said Simon Bryant, Research Director at Futuresource Consulting. “The strong adoption in multimedia and entertainment is expected to continue and this new device from XMOS addresses what manufacturers who want to add far-field voice control to their product lines will be looking for.”