Forget Touch – Reliable Voice Interface is Now a Reality with Kopin’s New Whisper™ Chip!

Breakthrough Voice ExtractionTM Technology Enhances Voice Interface Performance -- Even in Extreme Noise Conditions

WESTBOROUGH, Mass.--()--Kopin Corporation (NASDAQ:KOPN) announced today that it will launch and demonstrate its Whisper™ Voice Chip at CES®2016, one of the noisiest and most difficult places on planet Earth for users of smart phones and wearables to hear and be heard. Designed to enhance the performance of existing audio systems and speech recognition engines, the Whisper chip allows the speaker’s voice to be clearly “heard” by the listener, whether a person or a machine -- even in extreme noise environments. The Whisper chip incorporates Kopin’s Voice Extraction™ Technology that enables a truly hands-free voice interface.

“The Whisper Chip is a dramatic leap forward in voice control technology,” said Kopin President and CEO Dr. John C.C. Fan. “Users of smart phones and wearables will now, for the first time ever, enjoy reliable voice operation of all functions, including command and control, search and dictation – even when they speak in a whisper. Unreliable and inaccurate response to voice commands or voice-to-text, especially in noisy environments, is holding back user satisfaction, and therefore use, of voice interface for both wearables and smart phones. Reliable speech recognition is what users have been waiting for. With the launch of Kopin’s Whisper technology, the long wait is finally over.”

At the heart of the Whisper Chip is Kopin’s proprietary Voice Extraction™ Filter (VEF) technology. VEF is a patented approach to singulating the voice signal without distorting it. It allows the user to speak in a low or normal voice, even in very noisy environments, and be clearly heard. There is no need to raise your voice. VEF was developed, tested and refined in products designed for high noise military and industrial settings over several years and provides a dramatic improvement in the performance of speech recognition systems when compared to the traditional methods of noise cancelation in use today.

The accompanying chart compares the performance of smart glasses with the Whisper chip against the automatic speech recognition (ASR) and noise cancellation technologies found in two popular devices: a leading Bluetooth earphone and a leading smart phone. While the Whisper chip’s performance remains consistent as noise levels increase, the earphone’s performance begins degrading at 75 decibels (the amount of noise associated with a car interior or dishwasher) while the smart phone’s ASR performance starts to drop at approximately 85 decibels (or the amount of noise associated with restaurant).

“Our customers tell us, it’s the only solution that is truly hands-free,” said Ted Stecko, new product development manager for Verizon Wireless. “Verizon and Kopin Corporation have been working together on enterprise and public safety hands free wearable computing solutions for nearly four years. The most notable capability Kopin has demonstrated to Verizon customers is a true hands-free, noise cancelled speech recognition interface that works for everyone, literally everywhere, regardless of the noisy environment.”

For manufacturers, the Whisper Chip is simple to implement, sitting between the microphones and speech engine. It works with the leading operating systems, processors and speech recognition engines. Key features and benefits include:

  • Better ASR performance – Voice Extraction Filter dramatically increases the accuracy of existing speech recognition engines in noisy environments, whether the processing resides on the local device or in the cloud.
  • Clearer human-to-human voice – sounds natural and ‘clean’ even in noisy environments
  • Faster speech engine response – Whisper enables a faster response because the clean voice signal requires less processing.
  • Enhanced privacy – There is no need to yell into your device, even in a noisy environment, so the only person that hears you is the person or machine that you are intending to speak to.
  • Tunable – parameters can be adjusted to optimize for different applications and different microphone and speaker configurations.

The Whisper Chip is completely different than other audio chips: it is an all-digital solution that runs at only 16MHz, consumes less than 12mW of power and replaces the CODEC – no ADC or DAC is needed. It is also compact (4 x 4 mm) and accepts up to four (4) digital microphone inputs. The technology embedded in the Whisper chip is protected by more than 20 patents and patents pending.

The Whisper Chip is available for evaluation and design-in. Kopin will demonstrate the Whisper Chip performance at their reception – Wearables: The Missing Pieces – at Kopin’s suite at the Venetian during CES. Additional information is available at events@kopin.com, or for more information or to schedule a demonstration please contact Paul Baker, VP of Business Development at pbaker@kopin.com or 508 870 5959.

About Kopin

Kopin Corporation is a leading developer of innovative wearable computing technologies and solutions. Kopin’s technology portfolio includes ultra-small displays, optics, speech enhancement technology, software, low-power ASICs, and ergonomically designed smart headset concept systems. Kopin’s proprietary components and technology are protected by more than 300 global patents and patents pending, with more than 95% related to wearable technologies. For more information, please visit Kopin’s website at www.kopin.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release may be considered “forward-looking” statements under the “Safe Harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These include, without limitation, statements relating to our expectation that the Whisper chip will be launched and demonstrated at CES 2016; our belief that unreliable and inaccurate response to voice commands or voice-to-text, especially in noise environments, is holding back user satisfaction and use of voice interface for both wearable products and smart phones and that with the launch of Kopin’s Whisper technology, the long wait is finally over; and the Whisper technology is protected by patents pending. These statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: the Whisper chip may not be ready to be demonstrated and launched at CES 2016 or it may be demonstrated but not ready for production launch; even with the launch of Whisper technology users may not be satisfied with voice interface with wearable products and smartphones; our pending patents may not be issued; it may take longer than the Company estimates to develop the Whisper chip; the Company’s products may not be accepted by the market place; manufacturing, marketing or other issues may prevent either the adoption or acceptance of products; and other risk factors and cautionary statements listed in the Company’s periodic reports and registration statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the 12 months ended December 27, 2014, and the Company’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which are based only on information currently available to the Company and only as of the date on which they are made. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this report.

Contacts

Press:
WCG
Linsey McNew, 512-693-4877
LMcNew@wcgworld.com
or
Investors:
Kopin Investor Relations
Richard Sneider, 508-870-5959
CFO
rsneider@kopin.com
or
JoAnn Horne, 415-445-3233
Kopin Investor Relations
Market Street Partners
JHorne@marletstreetpartners.com

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Contacts

Press:
WCG
Linsey McNew, 512-693-4877
LMcNew@wcgworld.com
or
Investors:
Kopin Investor Relations
Richard Sneider, 508-870-5959
CFO
rsneider@kopin.com
or
JoAnn Horne, 415-445-3233
Kopin Investor Relations
Market Street Partners
JHorne@marletstreetpartners.com