Will you need another voice assistant?
Sonos is hosting an event on May 25, and the company is expected to introduce a slew of new products, including its leaked Sonos Ray soundbar. A new leak has suggested that Sonos may also introduce its own voice assistant for its smart speaker.
According to sources who spoke to The Verge, the service will be called Sonos Voice. It will work as an alternative to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, which you get in the company’s existing smart speakers and soundbars. It’s not the first time we’ve heard of Sonos’ development of making a voice assistant, but it’s the first time we’ve heard of a launch date and some key details.
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It will work by saying “Hey Sonos” to your smart speaker, and you will then be able to play music and other functions. However, it is unclear whether it will be as in-depth as Amazon Alexa or Assistant. Those voice assistants have built up their feature set by now. We expect this to be a far more limited feature, at least at first. It is said to work with Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, Deezer and Sonos Radio, but it won’t launch with Spotify or YouTube Music support.
The source claims that the service will start from June 1, so an announcement on May 25 would make sense. This is for those in the US, with an international rollout set to follow. The source says that all Sonos hardware from its S2 software will receive voice assistants, so it’s not exclusive to its upcoming products. This is an exhaustive list of products, but you may find that it doesn’t work with this new voice assistant if you have any older Sonos hardware. You can find out whether your hardware is compatible with the S2 software here.
Sonos and Google have had a turbulent relationship in recent years, with a much-hyped legal battle earlier this year over patent infringement. Despite this, the two companies have continued to work together. It’s unclear if Sonos Voice is a direct response to these issues, but the company may be expanding its services to ensure it doesn’t always have to rely on Amazon and Google’s services in the future. However, both of those competitors have been working on voice assistant technology for a long time, with Google’s first entry into the technology nearing the 10th anniversary and Amazon Alexa celebrating its eighth birthday later this year. Sonos has a lot of work to do.
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James Peckham (53 articles published)
James is the Managing Editor of Android Police. He previously worked at TechRadar, and he’s been covering smartphones for the best part of a decade.
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