Starting point for innovation

Use voice and gesture to control objects

Whether TV or smartphone - controlling devices using speech is already reality. Technology does, however, have its boundaries. The aim of the “Silense” project is to combine voice and gesture control and to improve the interaction between humans and machines.


The problem with voice control is that the software always reacts to the loudest sound in the room. Voice control is prone to malfunction with noisy children in the background, if a train passes close by the house or if somebody coughs. The “Silense” project’s research team intends to improve voice control and combine it with gesture control.

Project Silense

The ECSEL JU project “Silense” focuses on the development of acoustic technologies and gesture control at the interface between man and machine. Less power consumption, more accurate speech recognition and combined control by way of speech and gesture are at the centre of the research work. These technologies can then be installed in so-called “wearables”, i.e. computer technology worn on the body or head, in self-driving cars or “smart home” applications and improve the interaction between humans and machines.

Technical Innovation

A total of 32 partners from 9 countries across Europe are currently working at improving intelligent acoustic technology blocks at different levels – namely at hardware, software and system level. The objective is to reduce costs and energy consumption and to improve the performance (frequency range, sensitivity and efficiency) of micro-acoustic converters. The project will also seek to improve packaging and assembly technology.

This concerns in particular the monolithically integrated arrays of micro-acoustic converters and the corresponding electronic components. The researchers are also working on smart algorithms for acoustic and sensory data communication as well as on combined voice/speech sound modulation and gesture control with one and the same converter. The developments are intended to further improve comprehension between humans and machines. Many applications stand to benefit from them. Speech-based assistants and the control of cars or household appliances could be improved, as could various applications in hospitals and clinics: contact-free device control removes the need to touch display units that attract bacteria, which in turn has a positive effect on hygiene.

Dates & Facts 

Title: Silense
Project Leader: NXP Semiconductors Belgien N.V.
Duration:  3 years (start 05/2017)
Partner: 32 from 9 nations  
Belgium: NXP Semiconductors Belgium N.V, Interuniversitäair Micro-Electronica Centrum V.Z.W., Verhaert New Products and Services N.V. Germany: Infineon Technologies AG, Technische Universität Berlin, Technische Unvierität Chemnitz, Continental France: NXP Semiconductors France, SAS Coventor SARL, Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA), Institut Mines-Telecom United Kingdom: Speedo International Ltd Netherlands: NXP Semiconductors Nederland B.V., Solmates B.V., Synopsys Netherlands B.V, Nederlandse Organisatie Voor Toegepast-Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek (TNO), Technische Universiteit Delft, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven Norway: Stiftelsen Sintef, Elliptic Laboratories AS Austria: Infineon Technologies Austria AG, CTR Carinthian Tech Research AG, Linz Cneter of Mechatronics GmbH, Universität Linz Spain: Fundacion Prodintec, BCB Informatica Y Control S.L., Grupo Antolin Ingeniera S.A., Laboratorius Alpha San Ignacio Pharma SL Czech Republic: Institut Microelectronic Applications IMA,  Brno University of Technology CEITEC - Central European Institute of Technology, USTAV Teorie Informace a Automatizace AV CR.V.V.I

Programme: ECSEL JU 

The project Silence is co-funded by grants from Belgium, Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Czech Republic, Norway, United Kingdom as well as the European Unions´sHorizon 2020 within the Electronic Component Systems for European Leadership Joiunt Undertaking (ECSEL JU) Programme.

Further information

Media contact:

R&D Communications: Birgit Rader-Brunner
phone.: +43(0)664-4884 712

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