Sensory’s custom voice assistants are finally starting to appear in commercial edge devices. This time around, the company is highlighting the Farberware FM11VABK voice-controlled microwave oven, which features Sensory’s TrulyHandsFree and TrulyNatural speech technologies.
At the most basic level, the Sensory tech allows Farberware owners to control the microwave with simple voice commands. Users can tell the microwave to open the door or set a timer, or issue more complex instructions like “Cook popcorn” or “Defrost two pounds of meat,” in which case the microwave will automatically select the proper heat and time.
Sensory noted that the custom Farberware assistant is much more accurate than a more general assistant like Amazon’s Alexa, since the Farberware assistant has been optimized for microwave applications. In testing, the Farberware microwave was able to execute 68 percent more commands than the Amazon Basics Microwave with Alexa, largely because the Farberware assistant will never try to do anything that cannot be done with the microwave, and will interpret the speaker’s words and intentions accordingly.
The Farberware assistant will also do a better job of protecting people’s privacy. The Sensory voice assistants run entirely on-device, so the Farberware microwave does not need to connect to the cloud or communicate with any third-party app in order to function. In that regard, it runs like a more traditional appliance. The microwave will work as intended as soon as it gets plugged in, and will never store any personal data or send any recordings to the cloud.
In doing so, the microwave delivers privacy by default. Owners can go about their day at home without needing to worry that someone else could be listening.
“People love the convenience of mainstream voice assistants, but privacy, accuracy, complicated setup, and connectivity issues continue to be a growing concern among users,” said Sensory CEO Todd Mozer. “These concerns have intensified the need for custom private voice assistants. We’re seeing a major shift, with most of our customers being brands that want to own and manage their own private custom voice assistant platforms.”
The Farberware microwave arrives a few months after the launch of Sensory’s free VoiceHub development tool. Sensory has previously argued that specialized voice assistants will make it easier for smaller companies to compete with tech giants like Amazon and Google, after releasing a speech recognition platform for kitchen appliances in January of 2020.