One of the most engaging bits of technology unveiled this year with the Motorola-made Moto X was Touchless Control, allowing users to say, “OK Google Now” to begin a query with the device. This service is always listening for the voice of the person with which it’s tied, and can be activated even when the device is locked. Motorola (and their parent company Google) employed this service on the Moto X as well as all three of the new DROID devices released to Verizon this month – and it’s more than likely headed to a wide variety of smartphones (and tablet) once Qualcomm has their way with the market this summer.
Inside the Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System – inside the DROID 2013 family and the Moto X, you’ll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro dual-core processor aside two low-power cores. One of these cores is made for contextual computing, the other for natural language processing. The combined architecture included in this system makes way for the device’s ability to listen for its masters command at all times.
Qualcomm built the same ability in to its Snapdragon 800 quad-core SoC. Instead of Google or Motorola needing to custom-fit a couple of extra processor cores in with the Snapdragon S4 Pro, Qualcomm put the whole shebang into one. That Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor is being employed on a wide variety of smartphones and tablets right this minute.
According to Murthy Renduchintala, EVP of Qualcomm Technologies, aside from those that make their own processors, “Virtually every global OEM with a premium tier smartphone is designing with a Snapdragon 800 in the coming months.”
This includes the LG G2, the limited-release Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A, and a set of leaked devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note III, the LG-made G Pad tablet, and the Google Nexus 5. Qualcomm also told us (earlier this year) that “over 55 Snapdragon 800-powered devices” were already in development – that was all the way back in February!
Qualcomm has branded their integration of this low-power process integrated with the Snapdragon 800 as Snapdragon Voice Activation, and its abilities match that of the “OK Google Now” service you’re seeing on Moto X right this minute.
So here’s what’ll happen: you’ll see Android devices of all kinds being revealed with “always listening” abilities tied to Google Now over the next few months. Devices already released with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor inside will receive and update that’ll allow this integration of the touchless control service sooner or later, and everyone will live in “OK Google Now” euphoria.