Universal Electronics and Microsoft collaborate on a turnkey digital assistant platform for the Smart Home

We are happy to announce our collaboration with Microsoft to launch a new digital assistant platform for the home, built on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, using AI and IoT services.

Artificial intelligence is now playing a key role in improving access to smart living products and services, and this is only expected to expand in size and scope. Digital assistants that connect consumers to important services such as safety and security, collaboration and scheduling or bring joy through better interaction with entertainment devices, will play a key role in delivering the experiences promised by a brand.

In order to empower brands deliver these experiences quickly, efficiently, and directly to consumers, we have collaborated with Microsoft to offer a white-label smart home hub platform, Nevo® Butler, with an integrated digital assistant, as well as a range of turnkey kits addressing home safety and security, energy management, and entertainment control, in residential or hospitality domains. Read more here.

"By partnering with UEI on Nevo Butler and QuickSet Cloud, we will enable UEI customers to create custom Virtual Assistant solutions, for millions of home products, powered by Microsoft’s AI and Azure IoT services." said Lili Cheng, CVP, Conversational AI, Microsoft.

 

Nevo Butler is an end-to-end voice-enabled smart home hub with nevo.ai integrated and built on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform leveraging Azure IoT and AI services, including Microsoft’s virtual assistant solution with Azure Bot Service and Azure Cognitive Services. nevo.ai is a white-label digital assistant that promises to unify the entertainment control and home automation experiences, enabling interoperability across fragmented ecosystems.

Built-in entertainment control capabilities and smart home hub features powered by QuickSet® Cloud make this device one of the most versatile assistants for the home, capable of addressing a wide range of devices and use cases from enabling voice on existing devices, to innovative new services in the smart home. With a customizable digital assistant experience, enterprise integration services, and an expanding ecosystem of add-on services, this platform allows service providers and consumer electronics brands to offer voice-enabled services to consumers while remaining in control of the consumer relationship.

Customizable digital assistant, enterprise integration and add-on services allow service providers and brands to offer voice-enabled services to consumers and remain in control of the consumer relationship.

 

QuickSet Cloud, running on the Azure IoT platform, is already powering millions of connected devices in the home through customers including Comcast, Sony, LGI, Samsung and others, and will benefit from the global-scale and security of Azure. The nevo.ai digital assistant development is accelerated by the Azure virtual assistant solution where complex and evolving features can be delivered through a simple natural language interface, making these experiences accessible to a wide range of audiences.

“With Nevo Butler, we are democratizing access to an essential technology where consumer’s brands and service providers can quickly and efficiently deliver new services across many categories. Our sensors and hubs are pre-integrated with a configurable digital assistant where these brands can remain in-charge of the relationship with the end consumer” says Arsham Hatambeiki, SVP Product and Technology for Universal Electronics Inc., “Microsoft has proven to be a reliable and innovative partner in delivering this flexibility to brands, and choice to consumers.”

We are democratizing access to an essential technology...Our sensors and hubs pre-integrated with a configurable digital assistant allows brands remain in-charge of their relationship with the end consumer.

 

“Today, and in the future, we assume every home product experience will become frictionless, controlled naturally through conversations and voice, in a personalized and trusted experience,” said Lili Cheng, CVP, Conversational AI. “By partnering with UEI on Nevo Butler and QuickSet Cloud, we will enable UEI customers to create custom Virtual Assistant solutions, for millions of home products, powered by Microsoft’s AI and Azure IoT services.”

We will host product demonstrations for all our latest technologies and design concepts, and unveil our latest product, Nevo® Butler and related platform kits at booth #42325 in the Sands Expo at CES 2019 in Las Vegas from January 8-11.  Nikki Ahmadi, Director of Cloud and Software Products, will be available to discuss how Nevo Butler and curated kits and services can be used to introduce or expand offerings in a range of channels.

Meet Nevo Butler – product and cloud service to unify entertainment control and home automation experiences

Nevo® Butler is an end-to-end voice-enabled smart home hub with a built-in white label digital assistant that unifies entertainment control and home automation experiences, enabling interoperability across fragmented ecosystems. Built-in entertainment control capabilities and smart home hub features powered by QuickSet® Cloud, makes this device a versatile assistant for the home. It is capable of addressing a wide range of the current installed base of devices in consumers’ homes, while addressing a range of use cases and innovative new services in the smart home.

  • Remain in control of consumer experience through a branded digital assistant, while offering compatibility with third party digital assistants and expanding compatibility of these platforms with the current installed base of entertainment devices.
  • As a far-field voice assistant, this platform enables service providers to quickly and efficiently bring voice assistant capabilities for content discovery and control to their existing Pay-TV households without the need to upgrade their current equipment, and unlike other solutions, not limited to connected entertainment devices.
  • As a managed, white label smart home hub with a built-in digital assistant, allows smart home brands to efficiently and securely manage their installed base of devices, and address the expanding consumer demand for cross-brand interoperability with existing digital assistants and smart home hubs through the QuickSet Interoperability as a Service program.
  • In residential and hospitality segments, it opens the door to offering converged services across entertainment, home safety and security, energy management, and more.
  • New service and monetization opportunities are available through Partner Service Marketplace, initially previewing services in connectivity, analytics, cybersecurity and digital well-being.

A managed white label hub...that  empowers brands to deliver services such as safety and security, or brings convenience through better interactions with entertainment devices efficiently and directly to consumers.

Voice assistants powered by artificial intelligence are playing a key role in improving access to smart living products and services, and this is only expected to expand in size and scope. Digital assistants that connect consumers to important services such as safety and security, or bring convenience through better interaction with entertainment devices will play a key role in delivering the experiences promised by a brand. Nevo Butler empowers brands to deliver these experiences quickly, efficiently and directly to consumers.

A new industry research report from international firm Parks Associates shows nearly 75% of the consumers planning to buy a smart home device consider it important for their purchase to work with other products in their home.  This demand for interoperability is stronger than brand loyalty, as less than 60% of smart home shoppers consider it important that their future purchases be the same brand as their current products.  “As smart home devices proliferate, interoperability is the key to creating true smart home systems.  Consumer adoption of smart home products is driving expectations that devices work together seamlessly.  Consumers are buying outside of a single brand’s ecosystem, so they are demanding product interoperability,” said Brad Russell, Research Director, Connected Home, Parks Associates.

Research report from Parks Associates shows ~75% of consumers planning to buy a smart home device consider it important for their purchase to work with other products in their home. Nevo Butler addresses this expanding consumer demand for cross-brand interoperability.

 

As a managed smart home hub with far-field voice assistant capabilities, Nevo Butler is designed with security in mind, where the root of trust is placed in hardware and managed from manufacturing throughout the lifecycle of the platform as a service. Designed with UE878 multiprotocol chip built-in and is pre-integrated with QuickSet Cloud to offer the most comprehensive range of universal device control for entertainment and smart home devices across IP, Zigbee, Zigbee rf4ce, Bluetooth Smart, and Infrared.

Nevo Butler also comes pre-integrated with nevo.ai digital assistant offered as a white label service to deliver branded and customized experiences, and is capable of supporting other voice assistants in the platform to address the growing consumer demand for choice and access to domain specific assistants and services.

Nevo Butler supports a simple, cloud-based, natural language interface to enable conversational device interactions, and also adds offline pre-defined voice commands to ensure a reliable interface to smart home services, even when the Internet is down.

This solution puts brands back at the forefront of the consumer experience, enabling consumers to interact with products and services directly.

 

Enterprise integration services ensure the Nevo Butler platform can be seamlessly integrated into the existing service provider subscriber management systems, while a growing list of partner services in the marketplace allow new avenues for monetization and managed complementary services.

In addition to its voice-enabled entertainment device and control, Nevo Butler is offered in channel-specific kits bundled with a range of certified devices that include safety and security sensors, energy management controllers, and IoT lighting products.

“With Nevo Butler, we are delivering on the promise of unifying experiences across devices in the home - the entertainment device where consumers spend nearly 5 hours a day – and other smart home devices and services” says Arsham Hatambeiki, SVP of Product and Technology for Universal Electronics Inc.  “This solution puts brands back at the forefront of the consumer experience, enabling consumers to interact with products and services without going through a single, global service and brings with it the confidence of device compatibility and interoperability.”

We will host product demonstrations for all our latest technologies and design concepts, and unveil our latest product, Nevo® Butler and related platform kits at booth #42325 in the Sands Expo at CES 2019 in Las Vegas from January 8-11.  Nikki Ahmadi, Director of Cloud and Software Products, will be available to discuss how Nevo Butler and curated kits and services can be used to introduce or expand offerings in a range of channels.

Introducing new products and services for the Smart Home – CES 2019

As a worldwide leader in sensing and control technologies for the smart home, we will debut our latest solutions and capabilities transforming home entertainment and the smart home at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, Jan. 8 – 11

This year, we will be unveiling a new product for the Smart Home, Nevo® Butler, an end-to-end voice-enabled smart home hub with built-in white label digital assistant that unifies entertainment control and home automation experiences, enabling interoperability across fragmented ecosystems. Powered by QuickSet® Cloud, Nevo Butler delivers a versatile monitoring and control assistant solution for the home, capable of addressing a wide range of devices and use cases, ranging from voice control of an existing installed base of devices to innovative new Cloud services.

Nevo Butler is an end-to-end voice-enabled smart home hub with built-in white label digital assistant that unifies entertainment control and home automation experiences, enabling interoperability across fragmented ecosystems

With a customizable digital assistant front-end, enterprise-level integration services and an expanding ecosystem of add-on services, this platform allows service providers and consumer electronics brands to bring voice-enabled services to their customers while remaining in control of the consumer relationship.

Available as kits that address specific channel needs, Nevo Butler can be bundled with a range of certified devices including safety and security sensors, smart thermostat and temperature sensors developed by the teams at Ecolink and RCS. These kits bundle IoT experiences such as safety and security and energy management in addition to voice-enabled universal entertainment control.

Similar to previous years, our technologies and concepts will emphasize the company’s breadth of products solving some of the greatest challenges across the entire connected home. Traditionally known for our innovation in home entertainment, UEI continues to reimagine the way consumers interact with all the devices around them and now offers a complete portfolio of smart home solutions to create a truly smarter living.

At the 2019 International Consumer Electronics Show, we will showcase:

Voice Control Technologies: Award-winning, voice remote controls and related technologies deployed by the most recognized brands in consumer electronics, including the latest in voice-enabled Android TV remotes leveraging UEI’s UE878 dual-RF chip – a versatile chip deployed across a range of platforms, allowing for broader flexibility and easier implementation of multiple communication protocols. In addition to traditional voice remotes,we will demonstrate its first hands-free voice remote that wakes up and responds to voice commands why laying on the coffee table or couch. Designed to work with far-field voice assistants like Google Assist or Alexa, this concept provides some interesting new use cases for entertainment control.

  Smart Home Solutions: Next to the Nevo Butler, we present a broad portfolio of smart home solutions powered by technologies from the teams at Ecolink and RCS. These include a comprehensive line of sensing, security, HVAC and lighting control products that are compatible with multiple wireless technology standards such as Z-Wave, Zigbee, and Pro-Security. These turnkey products offer solutions for the hospitality, light commercial, and residential property management markets.

One For All: Our consumer-facing retail accessories brand will showcase a portfolio of audio video accessories ranging from universal entertainment control solutions, smart antennas and state of the art wall mounts that re-define the category. OFA leverages the latest QuickSet Cloud feature to demonstrate a consumer-centric solution designed to simplify entertainment control for consumers with multiple audio/video devices and multiple music/video apps that want to easily find and switch to their favorite content.

We will host product demonstrations for all our latest technologies and design concepts, and our most recent product unveiling, Nevo® Butler, at Booth #42325 in the Sands Expo at CES 2019 in Las Vegas from January 8 – 11.