Qualcomm And Google Join Forces For Smart Headsets With Assistant And Fast Pair

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Considering that many smartphone OEMs have abandoned 3.5mm headphone jacks on their smartphones in a bid to save space and "embrace the future," many consumers have skipped over adopting USB-C headphones and are instead going completely wireless.

While those firmly in the Apple camp have gravitated towards AirPods (Siri), Android users have instead opted for devices like the Google Pixel Bids (Google Assistant) and Samsung Galaxy Buds (Bixby). Today, Qualcomm and Google have announced an alliance that will make it easier for manufacturers to develop Google Assistant-equipped wireless headphones for the consumer market.

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Qualcomm announced that it is adding two Google technologies to its existing Smart Headset Platform for Bluetooth-enabled audio accessories. For starters, the Smart Headset Platform now brings native support for the Google Assistant. Qualcomm unveiled a new [wireless headphones] reference design that incorporates a push-button to easily activate the Google Assistant, which interfaces with the Google Assistant app installed on an Android smartphone.

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The second piece of Google technology donated to the Smart Headset Platform is Google Fast Pair. Fast Pair leverages Bluetooth Low Energy quickly and effortlessly connect with a smartphone along with supporting on-demand reconnections as requested. The wireless headphones are then synced with your Google Account and made available to all of your connected devices including smartphones, tablets, and even Chromebooks.

To help advance the production of wireless headphones and earbuds that support the Google Assistant and Google Fast Pair, Qualcomm is making available its Smart Headset Development kit which features its own QC5100 Series Bluetooth audio processor onboard. Development kits are currently available as of today.