Out of the box, modern Sonos speakers support Alexa and Google Assistant, and in a roundabout way Siri as well. Between those options, you might think Sonos would be covered when it comes to voice-activated assistants, but the company may be working on a solution of its own. In a customer survey spotted by VoiceBot.ai and later The Verge, Sonos describes a system that would respond to the phrase “Hey Sonos” and allow users to control music playback, search for songs and move tracks between different speakers in their home.
Additionally, the company states the potential voice assistant would process requests locally, claiming that’s something that would allow it work faster. It also points to the privacy benefits of such a setup. “Sonos Voice Control interprets your voice entirely on the speaker, so no audio is sent to the cloud, stored, transcribed, or listened to by anyone,” the company says in the survey. We’ll note here Sonos bought a startup that specialized in fast and private on-device voice processing in 2019.
A Sonos spokesperson told The Verge the company frequently collects feedback from its customers, but that it had no additional information to share. If Sonos plans to release its own voice assistant, it’s not hard to understand its motivations. After spending at least a year to get Assistant on its devices, the company had a very public falling out with Google in 2020, culminating in an ongoing legal spat between the two.
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