Sonos will release a speaker featuring Amazon's Alexa artificial intelligence (AI) assistant, the company's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Patrick Spence revealed during a recent interview with Variety. Spence said that an Alexa-powered device will be released by Sonos in the future and reiterated the firm's intention to update its existing product lineup with support for Amazon's AI assistant. More specifically, Alexa will be able to control Sonos-made speakers by the end of this year, Spence said. In practice, this means that owners of Sonos speakers will be able to tell their Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Tap to play music over Sonos speakers without uttering any additional phrases. The current solution requires users to add the phrase "on Sonos" after telling Alexa what music to put on, but that requirement will be eliminated in the near future, the company's CEO confirmed.
Sonos is planning to test complete support for Alexa in the coming months, as the company will hold a closed beta before it rolls out the feature to all of its customers. While exciting, the upcoming functionality is just a small part of the firm's ambitions related to voice controlled speakers. Spence revealed that Sonos-made products will soon start utilizing more digital assistants just like they're currently supporting numerous streaming services. The firm's CEO specifically said how he'd like to add support for Google Home and its Google Assistant to the company's product lineup in the future. All of this coincides with Sonos' long-term strategy that entails supporting as many devices and services as possible. Sonos just confirmed it will support the upcoming Control smart switch developed by Brilliant Home Technology and the company previously revealed how it's aiming to both "partner and compete" with Amazon and Google.
The firm already announced its intentions to add Alexa support to its products over the course of this year, but it remains to be seen how long Sonos will take to fulfill that promise. In the grand scale of things, the company's comprehensive support strategy seems like a safe bet since it's almost impossible to predict which smart assistant or Internet of Things control hub will dominate the market in the future.