Despite failing to lead the digital assistant and smart speaker market, Microsoft’s engineers have not stopped innovating. For example, in the USPTO patent filed in November 2018, we saw a “smart speaker with microphone indoor calibration.” It is worth mentioning that the speaker is also equipped with an optical sensor to detect sound field reflections from nearby objects.
It is reported that the envisaged product comes with a dedicated microphone and ring infrared self-illuminating optical sensor. If a wall is detected on one side, the matching microphone on that side is deactivated.
Once the environment information is collected, the smart speaker also adjusts beam formation precisely for a clearer audio viewing experience.
Microsoft points out that it is common to place smart speakers near walls and indoor corners, but hard-faced reflections can make speech recognition more difficult.
It is not known whether similar functions will be achieved through ring cameras in the future.