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New Features Extend Virtual Assistant Capabilities to Bring Intelligent Services, Virtual Agent, and More

Visit UEI at CES in Sands Expo Booth #42325, Smart Home Pavilion

Universal Electronics Inc. (UEI), the worldwide leader in universal control and sensing technologies for the smart home, announced that it will be introducing new capabilities and support across a variety of home entertainment and smart home devices for virtual assistant services at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV, which kicks off on January 7, 2020.

Since the introduction of as an integrated white label virtual assistant in Nevo Butler, UEI has been hard at work bringing new capabilities, and support across a wide array of devices such as Smart TVs, set-top boxes and home gateways, where users can interact more easily with their smart home virtual assistant.

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Nevo Butler is an entertainment and smart home hub with built-in to enable far-field voice assistance, designed to blend Smart Home and Entertainment experiences into one. Powered by QuickSet® Cloud, this product can enable a natural voice control experience to the existing installed base of devices in the home that are not addressable through other assistants. The lack of perceived value for smart home by a large percentage of households can be addressed by adding interoperability with devices they own and use on a daily basis.

This year, UEI is introducing as a white label virtual assistant service with a range of new capabilities, enabling integration across a variety of home entertainment and smart home devices to simplify user interaction and interoperability in the increasingly connected home.

  • Powerful and simple to integrate conversational interface to set up and interact with a growing list of devices in the home, complementing existing assistants while keeping OEM brands in control of the experience.
    • Support for far-field voice through Nevo Butler, or near-field voice using any of our popular voice-enabled remote control platforms.
  • New graphical interface when integrated on devices with a display for an increasingly user-friendly multi-modal experience. Rich graphical cards and on-screen elements offer helpful answers and recommendations, and quick access to tailored activities for users who still show a strong preference for tactile single-touch access over a conversational interface.
    • These features can be experienced through our new smart entertainment hub product concept, powered by
  • Interoperability as a Service powered by QuickSet Cloud where branded OEMs can manage their users’ experiences across entertainment and smart home devices, reducing operational costs while addressing specific consumer needs.
    • QuickSet 5.0 including the latest advancements in QuickSet Cloud blending entertainment and smart home with built-in support for IoT device management, dashboards and analytics, and native support for Zigbee 3.0
  • New intelligent sound events provide private and secure context-aware services across home security and entertainment control. With an integrated, look-back capability so important events are automatically captured. Enabling a variety of new features, such as audio ducking, sound triggers and snapshots for home security, and a more intuitive entertainment audio control.
  • Virtual Agent service powered by offers an integrated Tier 0 Support (or self-help) for Entertainment and Smart Home devices to address common questions around setup, feature discovery, and troubleshooting. Available on-device; a support website; or integrated in branded mobile apps, this service maintains the consumer in-brand experience. Enhanced with the knowledge of existing devices at home powered by real-time access to the secure, remote troubleshooting features of QuickSet 5.0 to offer a powerful framework to address the most challenging aspects of supporting devices in a more connected home.

Conversational interfaces powered by artificial intelligence are playing a key role in improving access to smart living products and services, on-device and on-the-go, and this is only expected to expand in size and scope. As a strategic technology decision, reliable and open infrastructure is key to long-term success.

  • built on Microsoft’s open-sourced and extensible Virtual Assistant solution accelerator to empower our customers to deliver novel and tailored experiences directly to their customers through a variety of channels while offering confidence in the technology decisions made today.
    • A preview of the skills developer framework to evolve and enhance the built-in capabilities of the virtual assistant as new services are offered to users, accessible across devices, in and out of the home.

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“By making service available across more devices and screens, we will offer an upgrade path for QuickSet Cloud-enabled platforms to benefit from our device interoperability, device knowledge graph and virtual agent capabilities available through rich conversational interfaces, on and off device,” says Arsham Hatambeiki, SVP Product and Technology for Universal Electronics Inc. “Microsoft’s vision for a multi-assistant future fully aligns with ours and we continue to collaborate on new services to enable this future for smarter and more capable devices at home.”

Lili Cheng, CVP, Conversational AI, Microsoft Corp., said, “Today, and in the future, we assume every home product will offer immediate and on-device assistance through natural conversational interfaces, in a personalized and trusted experience. By partnering with UEI on and QuickSet Cloud, we will enable UEI customers to build on an open Virtual Assistant Solution Accelerator, for millions of home products, powered by Microsoft Azure AI and IoT services.”

Universal Electronics will host product demonstrations for all their latest technologies and products at Booth #42325 in the Sands Expo at CES 2020 in Las Vegas from January 7 -10.

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