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Knowles and Lenovo Collaborate on the PHAB2 and PHAB2 Plus to Enable More Voice Features and Clearer Calls Anytime, Anywhere

PHAB2 and PHAB2 Plus will feature the world’s first “always listening” smart microphone inside one of the most advanced audio systems in the smartphone industry, enabling new features and supporting a longer battery life.

ITASCA, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 10, 2016-- Today, Knowles Corporation (NYSE: KN), a market leader and global supplier of advanced micro-acoustic, audio processing, and specialty component solutions, celebrates the launch of the Lenovo PHAB2 and PHAB2 Plus, and the first customer adoption of Knowles’ VoiceIQ™ smart microphone. The high-performance SiSonic™ microphone is paired with best-in-class audio software and voice processing from Knowles to create one of the most advanced audio systems in the mobile consumer electronics industry. The products were launched at Lenovo Tech World in San Francisco on June 9.

“By developing intelligent audio solutions around our high-performance microphones, our engineering team enables thinner, lighter and more powerful devices, like the Lenovo PHAB2 and PHAB2 Plus,” said Paul Dickinson, president, Mobile Consumer Electronics, Intelligent Audio, Knowles Corporation. “We recognize that customers need more than a better microphone, they need an innovative audio solution partner with unique capabilities in acoustics, digital signal processing and software. The result of our approach is advanced audio solutions that enable new features, such as always-on voice-wake applications.”

As consumers increasingly use mobile devices to access social media apps, make and receive calls, view and create videos, and use voice-activated applications, it is critical that audio quality and voice clarity enhance the user’s experience and overall system performance.

“Lenovo is pleased to incorporate Knowles’ VoiceIQ smart microphone, algorithms, and voice processor into our PHAB2 and PHAB2 Plus,” said Hua Zhang, vice-president, Chrome and Android Computing Business Group, Lenovo. “Knowles’ best-in-class microphones in the PHAB2 and PHAB2 Plus are a part of our commitment to deliver the best value in smartphones through ultimate noise-cancelling performance at amazing prices.”

A Complete Audio Solution from Knowles

As the leader in audio innovation, Knowles’ engineering team collaborated with Lenovo to implement an audio system that leverages Knowles’ expertise in hardware, software, and signal processing. The solution includes:

  • VoiceIQ Smart Microphone: Now consumers can wake-up their device and launch specific commands from across a room, rather than touching a button or the screen to activate a digital assistant or interface. The world’s first "always-listening" smart microphone is capable of automatically adapting its performance to the environment and enabling voice interfaces with significant power savings. This microphone uses new audio system pathway that integrates an audio processing algorithm with acoustic activity detection* directly into a digital microphone. As a result, the microphone recognizes when the audio chain should be awakened and when it should remain in sleep mode, positively impacting battery life.
  • Software Solutions: These intelligence algorithms mimic the way the human brain processes audio. The software’s innovative voice processing improves call clarity and speech recognition, which enables PHAB2 and PHAB2 Plus users to be heard in noisy environments, such as an airport or busy city center!
    • Advanced noise suppression at distances greater than 5 meters. While traditional voice communication and speech recognition fail at distances greater than an arm’s length, Knowles advanced algorithms allow users great flexibility for users to be heard when they need to set their phone down or wake-up a digital assistant from across the room.
    • Voice compass identifies tracks and selectively listens to a user’s voice, while simultaneously suppressing the background noise. This allows users to record conversations in noisy environments, or use voice-controlled applications while listening to music or watching a movie.
    • Automatic speech recognition assist enhances the PHAB2 and PHAB2 Plus’ speech recognition and comprehension for voice-enabled smartphone apps and digital assistants. As a result, the smartphone has a better understanding of voice commands and delivers more accurate features, like talk-to-text.
  • eS800 Series Voice Processor: The engine for Knowles software solutions, the eS800 series is a stand-alone voice processor with the highest performance and richest voice feature set in the market. The voice processor enables a flawless execution of the important capabilities related to voice commands, speech recognition, and noise suppression. The eS800 series ensures vivid high-definition sound, so PHAB2 or PHAB2 Plus users sound like their sitting next to the person on the other end of the phone.

The Knowles technology used in this device began shipping in June 2016. For more information on the PHAB2 and PHAB2 Plus, visit Lenovo.com. For more information about Knowles unique capabilities and approach to audio solutions, visit Knowles.com/SmartphoneAudioSolutions.

*The VoiceIQ smart microphone uses an audio processing algorithm with acoustic activity detection licensed from Sensory, Inc. This algorithm is embedded directly into a SiSonic MEMS microphone from Knowles.

About Knowles Corporation

Knowles Corporation (NYSE: KN) is a market leader and global supplier of advanced micro-acoustic, audio processing, and specialty component solutions, serving the mobile consumer electronics, communications, medical, military, aerospace, and industrial markets. Knowles uses its leading position in MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) microphones and strong capabilities in audio processing technologies to optimize audio systems and improve the user experience in smartphones, tablets, and wearables. Knowles is also the leader in acoustics components used in hearing aids and has a strong position in high-end oscillators (timing devices) and capacitors. Knowles’ focus on the customer, combined with unique technology, proprietary manufacturing techniques, rigorous testing and global scale, enables it to deliver innovative solutions that optimize the user experience. Founded in 1946 and headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, Knowles has employees in 15 countries around the world. For more information, visit knowles.com.

Source: Knowles Corporation

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Knowles Communications
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