Picovoice FAQ

Which Picovoice speech product should I use?

If you need to recognize a single phrase or a number of (tens or less) of predefined phrases, in an always-listening fashion, then you should use Porcupine (wake word engine). If you need to recognize complex voice commands within a confined and well-defined domain with limited number of vocabulary and variations of spoken forms (1000s or less), then you should use Rhino (speech-to-intent engine). Rhino works well together with Porcupine, or can be used by itself with a push-to-talk pattern.

What are the benefits of implementing voice interfaces on-device, instead of using cloud services?

Privacy, minimal latency, improved reliability, runtime efficiency, and cost saving to name a few. More detail is available in this blog post.

Does Picovoice technology work in far-field applications?

It depends on many factors including the distance, ambient noise level, reverberation (echo), quality of microphone, and audio frontend used (if any). It is recommended to try out our technology using the freely-available sample models in your environment. Additionally, we often publish open-source benchmarks of our technology in noisy environments [1] [2] [3]. If the target environment is noisy and/or reverberant and user is few meters away from the microphone, a multi-microphone audio frontend can be beneficial.

Does Picovoice software work in my target environment and noise conditions?

It depends on variety of factors. You should test it out yourself with the free samples made available on Picovoice GitHub pages. If it does not work, we can fine-tune it for enterprise customers.

Does Picovoice software work in presence of noise and reverberation?

Picovoice software is designed to function robustly in presence of noise and reverberations. We have benchmarked and published the performance results under various noisy conditions [1] [2] [3]. The end-to-end performance depends on the type and amount of noise and reverberation. We highly recommend testing out the software using freely-available models in your target environment and application.

Can I use Picovoice software for telephony applications?

We expect audio with 16000 sampling rate. PSTN networks usually sample at 8000 rate. It is possible to upsample but then the frequency content above 4000 is gone and performance will be suboptimal. It is possible to train acoustic models for telephony applications if the commercial opportunity is justified.

My audio source is 48kHz/44.1KHz. Does Picovoice software support that?

Picovoice software expects a 16000Hz sampling rate. You will need to downsample. Typically, operating systems or sound cards (Audio codecs) provide such functionality; otherwise, you will need to implement it.

Can Picovoice help with building my voice enabled product?

Our core business is software licensing. That being said, we do have a wide variety of expertise internally in voice, software, and hardware. We consider such requests on a case-by-case basis and assist clients who can guarantee a certain minimum licensing volume.

If I am using GitHub to evaluate the software, do you provide technical support?

Prior to commercial engagement, basic support solely pertaining to software issues or bugs is provided via GitHub issues. We do not offer any free support with integration or support with any platform (either operating system or hardware) that is not officially supported via GitHub.

Why does Picovoice have GitHub repositories?

To facilitate performance evaluation, for commercial prospects, and also enable open source community to take advantage of the technology for personal and non-commercial applications.

What is the engagement process?

You may use what is available on GitHub while respecting its governing license terms without engaging with us. This facilitates performance evaluation. Then you need to acquire a development license to get access to custom speech models or use the software for development and internal evaluation within a company. Development license is for building a PoC or prototype. When ready to commercialize you need to acquire a commercial license. The terms depend on your vertical.

Does Picovoice offer AEC, VAD, noise suppression, or microphone array beamforming?

No. But we do have partners who provide such algorithms. Please add this to your inquiry when reaching out and we can connect you.

Can you build a voice-enabled app for me?

We do not provide software development services, so most likely the answer is no. However, via a professional services agreement we can help with proofs-of-concept (these will typically be rudimentary apps focused on voice user interface or building the audio pipeline), evaluations on a specific domain/task, integration of SDK in your app, training of custom acoustic and language models, and porting to custom hardware platforms.

What is required to support additional languages?

Supporting a new language is an involved, time consuming process, and requires substantial investment. For significant commercial opportunities, we may be able to prioritize and partially reinvest commercial license fees into supporting new languages for customers.