Shipments of Voice Personal Assistant Speakers Projected To More Than Double in 2017 

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Linkplay Expands Sales and Distribution Channel to Meet Growing Demand for Its Turnkey WiFi Audio Solution with Alexa Voice Service

 Redwood City, CA, June 9, 2017 — Linkplay Technology, a leading WiFi audio solution provider and one of the first audio platforms to integrate with Alexa Voice Service (AVS), announces new sales representatives and distribution partners in the U.S. and Europe to support the increasing demand for its solution. The firms, Parts Express International, Vocalcord Technologies Limited and Indesmatech provide sales, design and integration expertise to audio speaker and smart home electronics manufacturers interested in incorporating Powered by Linkplay’s patented turnkey WiFi hardware and software package. Parts Express International focuses on brands in the U.S. and Canada; whereas Vocalcord Technology serves the UK, Germany, Spain, France, Austria, and Switzerland. Indesmatech represents companies located in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and the Baltic States.

Currently, AVS is available in the U.S., Germany, and the UK. To date, several speaker brands’ Powered by Linkplay with AVS are shipping in the U.S., UK and Germany including Aud Click’s iLuv, FABRIQ, GGMM’s E5, Jam Audio’s Voice, and Omaker’s Wow. Linkplay’s smart audio WiFi solution provides global streaming music content integration, app and cloud development, integration with AVS, multi-room speaker capabilities, as well as low latency, high resolution (192khz/24bit; 44.1KHz/16bit), loss-less audio. It is available in both hands-free and push-to-talk voice capabilities.

According to Jack Wetherill, Senior Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting, “Voice control is already having a major impact upon the Wireless Speaker market and looks set to take this already booming category to new heights. 6.2m Voice Personal Assistant Speakers shipped worldwide last year, accounting for 48% of all Wi-Fi Speakers. Most of these were from Amazon, which is now a major audio hardware brand. Futuresource believes that VPA Speaker sales will more than double this year. In addition, there is growing demand for bridging devices, and we expect voice assistance to be embedded into other categories ranging from soundbars to in-car entertainment systems.”

Linkplay’s audio solution provides access to millions of songs through services such as Amazon Music, Audible, Deezer, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Spotify, TIDAL, Napster, and many others and operates with AirPlay, DLNA, Spotify Connect, and QQPlay protocols, making it seamless for companies to bring music to their devices. It specializes in interruption-free music streaming from any iOS or Android device to speakers over a WiFi network and eliminates the need to connect a phone to the speakers, allowing users to stream music without interference from calls or texts.

“We are experiencing tremendous demand from manufacturers wanting to integrate our platform; it is becoming the de facto industry standard,” said Mark Zadeh, vice president of sales and marketing, Linkplay. “Companies trust our proven technology as we have more AVS audio products in the market than any other company and we enable speaker brands to enter the market quickly, at a cost-effective price point.”

If you are interested in designing a product with Linkplay, please choose one of the following email addresses: Parts Express, Judd Baker linkplay@parts-express.com; Vocalcord Technology, Tony.James@vocalcordtech.com; or Soren Manicus, sma@indesmatech.com. For media inquiries please contact Mark Zadeh at markz@Linkplay.com.

About Linkplay:

Linkplay Technology, headquartered in Silicon Valley, CA, was founded by a global team of hardware and software engineers, business executives, and wireless audio experts. Linkplay’s patent-pending technology is a turn-key WiFi audio platform with global streaming music content integration, app and cloud development for speaker brands and ODMs. Technology partners include original design manufacturers (ODMs), component suppliers and key technology investors. For more information about Linkplay, visit www.linkplay.com or email info@linkplay.com.

  Shipments of Voice Personal Assistant Speakers Projected To More Than Double in 2017 

May Newsletter 2017

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Linkplay’s director of PR, Linda Ferguson, and vice president of sales and marketing, Mark Zadeh, met with numerous consumer, technology, business, and trade press at Pepcom’s Digital Experience press event in San Francisco, on May 18th. Reporters were eager to learn about our turn-key Wi-Fi audio solution integrated with Alexa Voice Service, as well as have us answer questions about future technology trends related to AI and competing voice technologies.

We showcased “Powered by Linkplay” customers’ speakers approved with AVS from iLuv, Fabriq, GGMM, Jam Audio, and Omaker. Several journalists indicated a desire to receive products to review. Here is a few of the publications and news outlets we briefed:

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ANNOUNCEMENT!
We take customer requests seriously and are happy to announce we signed a contract with Deezer, exclusively streamed through Airable. This popular music service will surely please European consumers.  If you are interested in adding Deezer/Airable retroactively to your Linkplay products or future products, please contact partner@linkplay.com
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Product of the month

GGMM E5 Wireless Smart Speaker
More than 100 reviews and astounding 4.5 stars on Amazon! Check it out here!

“Customer service is top a priority for us. We put a lot of effort towards our customers’ needs and wants, and work hard to assure they are happy and 100% satisfied with our products …”  -Sindy Zhao

Recent News Coverage

May 4th, 2017 – Voice First: 4 Factors Affecting Market Growth English Version

All News Coverage

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Check it out, Amazon Alexa on SNL!

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May Newsletter 2017

April Newsletter 2017

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April Newsletter 2017
DON’T BE LEFT BEHIND – AI PERSONAL ASSISTANTS ARE THE FUTURE 

Linkplay is riding the wave!  To meet the growing demand for Powered by Linkplay Wi-Fi audio solutions integrated with Alexa Voice Service, we have expanded our team. Please meet our distribution and manufacturing sales representatives: Parts Express International, covers the U.S. and Canada, Firefly Technology serves the UK, Germany, Spain, France, Austria, Switzerland and Indesmatech.com provides sales coverage for Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland,  and the Baltic States. All of these companies are well established in their respective markets.

Currently Alexa Voice Service is available in the U.S. Germany and the U.K. As AVS expands into other regions our sales reps are well positioned to support your integration requirements. If you are a U.S. speaker or consumer electronics brand and want to discuss building an AVS product with less than 5,000 units per year, please contact Judd Baker at juddb@parts-express.com.  Additionally European customers interested in partnering with us, please contact Tony James, tjames@fireflytech.com or Soren Manicussma@indesmatech.com.

Want to bring an AVS Wi-Fi audio product to market in the next six to twelve months with the most cost effective solution, with a trusted partner and a proven technology? Please contact Alexa@Linkplay.com or Mark Zadeh, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Linkplay at Markz@Linkplay.com.


Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2017

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Linkplay and Alexa teams joined forces this past month at the Hong Kong Electronics Show to demonstrate the latest advancements in our turnkey Wi-Fi audio platform integrated with Alexa Voice Services. There was overwhelming excitement from speaker and consumer electronics brands wanting to develop Powered by Linkplay products given our proven solution and fast time to market.


News Coverage 

Lifeng Zhao, CEO of Linkplay Technology spoke at the Round Table with other industry CEOs. Check out the article below!

Round Table: Catching up with Alexa devices

All News Coverage 

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Visit Linkplay Website 

April Newsletter 2017

What’s New with Linkplay?


March Newsletter 2017

The appetite and momentum for voice activated assistants in Wi-Fi speakers and smart home devices are skyrocketing. To support the ever-growing demand, Linkplay recently announced another strategic ODM relationship with ANAM Electronics. This is exciting because it expands the category by addressing the needs of customers at the higher end of the A/V receiver and speaker market.

In other news, Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service (AVS) officially launched in the UK and Germany at the end of January. We are excited to report that several of our speaker brand customers are in the process of rolling out Powered by Linkplay products in those countries. Now more consumers than ever will have the pleasure and convenience of using AVS to listen to music, news, order food, check weather forecasts, order products and check their commute to work all with the benefit of high resolution, lossless audio devices.

Recent Press Release

Recent Coverage

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What’s New with Linkplay?

Make Your Product’s Future Bright – Powered by Linkplay and Alexa

February Newsletter 2017
We are experiencing unprecedented demand for Powered by Linkplay solutions with speaker and device manufacturers, technology partners, music streaming content providers, and the Amazon Alexa developer community. And the press coverage surrounding our announcements and events is being reported by industry media in a positive light. To our current partners, thank you for trusting us with your business.

We are relentless in our passion and pursuit to offer the highest performance, Alexa Voice Service, music streaming and app packages, with fast time to market and cost effective price points. We’ve developed multiple modules that greatly scale the number of available AVS devices for end consumers. And, we are leading the audio speaker category with the most Alexa enabled speaker products representing five brands with plans to deliver many more smart home devices in 2017.

Make Your Product’s Future Bright – Powered by Linkplay and Alexa

How Linkplay Will Enable Dozens of Connected Products with Amazon Alexa in 2017

Today a speaker is not just a speaker—it’s a connected device we use to play music when we want, where we want, and from whatever service we prefer. New cloud-based, streaming media providers have given us greater control over our music libraries, creating magical and memorable experiences every time we hit “play”.

More than ever, convenience matters, and that’s where Linkplay excels.

Who Is Linkplay?

Linkplay is a turnkey Wi-Fi audio solution provider that works with device manufacturers to build connected speaker products at various price points and for a growing number of use cases. Whether you want to build a high-end product for the home or a durable portable speaker for camping trips, Linkplay offers customizable product solutions, complete with the latest technologies, to meet your needs.

In November 2016, we worked with Linkplay to introduce its turnkey Wi-Fi audio solution with an Alexa Voice Service (AVS) integration. The solution enables speaker brands and OEMs to quickly and cost effectively launch Wi-Fi speaker products with access to Alexa. In the months since launch, Linkplay has brought five portable speaker products with Alexa to market. Its most recent launch, the Omaker WoW, is the first hands-free device, and represents Linkplay’s growing expertise in enabling voice-powered interfaces on speaker products.

Linkplay is now focusing heavily on voice user interface (VUI) design and Alexa, building out a suite of technologies and processes to help its customers integrate conversational AI and hands-free voice control into their connected products.

Founded with the mission of making the audio listening experience convenient for the end consumer, Linkplay serves as a valuable partner for device manufacturers that don’t have the resources to invest and maintain IoT solutions. “Many speaker manufacturers don’t have the resources to take on this technical challenge and financial investment,” Linkplay’s CEO and Founder Lifeng Zhao, Ph.D. said. “It’s taxing for speaker brands to be good at both audio and IoT—Linkplay seeks to take the pain out of the process, enabling speaker brands to conveniently, quickly, and cost-effectively bring cutting edge products to their customers.”

How OEMs Work with Linkplay

Anyone familiar with product development knows that time-to-market is a crucial metric. Linkplay has helped a growing number of speaker manufacturers and OEMs build and launch products with Alexa in under six months, a significant accomplishment in and of itself. But perhaps more important for the manufacturer is how Linkplay designs customized solutions to get a product to market.

According to Zhao, Linkplay recognizes that not all audio devices are created equally, so the technology inside should be adjusted to support these differences. Beyond providing brands and OEMs with Wi-Fi connectivity and access to streaming media, the company plays a crucial role in identifying hardware-based solutions to streamline production and keep costs down. Linkplay offers partners a number of resources to get started, including reference designs and schematics, product design guidelines, standard software and mobile applications, toolkits for testing and debugging, self-test suites, and highly customized mobile applications.

Once a partner has defined their requirements and design, Linkplay works with the OEM to add connectivity to their products. The company’s Wi-Fi and DSP modules enable devices to access AVS, as well as streaming media providers such as Amazon Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Spotify, TIDAL, and Napster. Additionally, these modules enable AirPlay, DLNA, Spotify Connect, and QPlay protocols.

The built-in Alexa experience allows customers to ask Alexa for weather reports, traffic updates, Flash Briefings, access local information, control smart home products, and enable more than 8,000 Alexa skills.

Throughout the development process, Linkplay acts as the certification proxy. Linkplay ensures the OEM’s product meets Amazon’s UX and functional guidelines and hands-free acoustic requirements. Within these processes, Linkplay recommends mic array placements, form factor design, integration use cases such as push-to-talk or hands-free, LED requirements, and more.

“Linkplay has always been about creating great wireless audio experiences for our partners’ customers. We have relationships with most major music service providers and a robust whole home audio solution that enables customers to group and manage their speakers across the home,” Zhao said. “For us, integrating with the Alexa Voice Service made perfect sense as it enabled us to easily bring the convenience of voice interaction to our customers.”

How Omaker Launched with Linkplay and Alexa

When Omaker came to Linkplay with the idea for a hands-free speaker with Alexa, Linkplay worked with Amazon to identify the appropriate mic array and wake word engine to fit the budget and form factor. Using the Conexant AudioSmart 2-Mic solution and Sensory’s TrulyHandsfree wake word engine, Linkplay helped Omaker design a high-quality product at an affordable price.

“We chose the Conexant mic array for this product because of its high performance and cost,” Zhao said. “However, cost was only one factor—the 2-microphone array also ensured that we could fit the required technology into the form factor.”

Amazon announced the Conexant 2-Mic AudioSmart Dev Kit in December 2016. With a Wi-Fi solution from Linkplay and a recommended reference solution from Conexant, Omaker was able to build and announce its WoW speaker in time for CES 2017. It is this type of speed-to-market that makes Linkplay a valuable option for many OEMs.

“We are excited with Amazon’s vision for Alexa, and working with their team was a natural choice for us as it complements our strategy and bundled solution,” Zhao said. “Alexa’s technology allows us to implement multiple software and hardware platforms to address a variety of price points. This flexibility enabled us to target numerous product lines, such as audio speakers, sound bars, IoT devices, and enterprise applications with the most cost-effective solutions for our clients.”

What’s Next for Linkplay?

Linkplay has experienced incredible interest in its smart Wi-Fi solution with Alexa. “We are amazed by the number of requests we get from people asking how they can integrate Alexa into their products with Linkplay,” Zhao said. “Our first-to-market position proved to be a huge advantage for us, and the extreme halo effect of being associated with Amazon Alexa at CES this year helped introduce our brand and services to new customers.”

While Linkplay has enabled five Alexa products in-market today, Zhao says that’s only the beginning, and the company is off to a fast start in 2017.

“Our roadmap is evolving, and we’re constantly soliciting feedback from customers from new areas. We recently held an Alexa Summit for our speaker manufacturers and OEM customers that drew hundreds of attendees, and I believe we’ll see more of these activities in the future,” Zhao said. “From a brand perspective, we have dozens of projects in our queue for 2017.”

Linkplay has made it easy for brands to build and launch connected products with Alexa. In less than three months, the company has developed a solution that will greatly scale the number of devices with Alexa available to end consumers. Reflecting back on its core mission of making it more convenient for consumers to listen to music when, where, and however they want, Linkplay’s desire to delight its customers, focus on deepening business relationships, and embrace new technologies has helped the company to exceed expectations without any sign of slowing down.

Contact Linkplay by email if you’re interested in building a product with the “Powered by Linkplay” solution.

New to voice user interface design? See how the technology works by building your own Amazon Alexa prototype for Raspberry Pi.

Have questions? We’re here to help. Visit us on the AVS Forum or Alexa GitHub to speak with one of our experts.

See the full article here

How Linkplay Will Enable Dozens of Connected Products with Amazon Alexa in 2017