Currently voice recognition like Apple's Siri requires some additional activation such as pressing a button on the phone. Ideally voice recognition would be on all the time and so we could just talk. However, the power consumption required to do that with current processors is too high.
Power is the single most important factor in enabling always-on listening capability in mobile devices. HiFi Mini is able to achieve just 400 uW running Sensory’s Truly HandsFree voice control technology. I think that we can expect more and more voice control over time as it migrates into all sorts of areas such as automotive and consumer appliances. Some of this is driven by the software side of things, but under the hood there is always the need for a very low power DSP to run the software since it is always listening.
If you are attending CES then Tensilica Tensilica will demonstrate Sensory’s Truly HandsFree voice trigger and speech command products on HiFi Mini at in booth MP25060.