June 13, 2024
Sonos to Launch 'Hey Sonos' Voice Assistant on June 1st [Report]

Sonos to Launch 'Hey Sonos' Voice Assistant on June 1st [Report]

Posted May 4, 2022 at 8:23pm by iClarified
Sonos is planning to launch a new 'Hey Sonos' voice assistant that will be offered on many of its home audio products, according to The Verge.

It will be part of a forthcoming software update set to arrive first to customers in the US on June 1st, with an international rollout to follow. Sonos Voice will serve as an alternative to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, which Sonos already supports on its smart speakers and voice-enabled soundbars. All Sonos products that run the company’s S2 software will support Sonos Voice Control.

The assistant will allow owners to request specific songs, artists, or playlists using their voice. At launch it will work with Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, Deezer, and Sonos Radio. Apparently, Spotify and YouTube Music are not yet on board.

'Hey Sonos' will not record user audio commands or send them to the cloud for processing. This means it will likely be quicker than the competition and more private. Previously leaks have suggested that Sonos Voice Control will work alongside Alexa but not Google Assistant. Sonos CEO Patrick Spence said as much in testimony to the House Judiciary Committee back in 2020.

To take a particularly egregious and anti-consumer example, Sonos has developed the technical ability to host multiple voice assistants on its smart speakers simultaneously, which we call voice concurrency. In a product using this technology, you can call upon whichever voice assistant you want (including more than just the two dominant assistants) and the system will channel you into your chosen service automatically. This is a feature that customers told us they wanted and which requires complex engineering, and we worked hard to invent it. But Google demanded as a condition of having Google Assistant in our products that we never allow concurrency with another general voice assistant. As a result, today a Sonos customer must open an application and manually choose which single voice assistant will be configured on their device. This restriction is bad for consumers. (To its credit, Amazon embraced this choice-promoting “concurrency” concept and has even helped create a coalition to promote the idea.) And the fact that Google has the power to impose this restriction on others is bad for the structure of the economy.

We've yet to see how good Sonos Voice Control will perform; however, if it's possible to activate both Alexa and Sonos Voice Control without making configuration changes to a device, there will be no reason not to give it a try.

More details in the full report linked below...

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Sonos to Launch 'Hey Sonos' Voice Assistant on June 1st [Report]
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