Alexa Voice Controls Likely Coming To Sonos Smart Speakers

August 19, 2017 - Written By Manny Reyes

Smart speaker manufacturer Sonos is likely working on adding Alexa voice controls to its line of Internet of Things-connected products, as suggested by the company’s announcement for the upcoming updates to its privacy statement. The fact that the Santa Barbara, California-based company plans to introduce Alexa skills to its smart speakers is nothing new: Sonos Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Patrick Spence said in February this year that the company intends to release a set of new smart speakers integrated with Alexa by the end of 2017, with further plans to bake the artificial intelligence (AI) assistant into its other products.

The plan to incorporate Alexa voice controls into Sonos’ smart speakers is likely to kick off soon following the company’s privacy statement update. Craig Shelburne, Chief Legal Officer at Sonos, said in a blog post that the company has added a section that describes what could happen if you turn on a voice assistant (albeit unspecified) as a tool to control the Sonos smart speakers in your household. While it was not specified what voice assistant customers can enable to gain control over Sonos’ products, the blog post made mention of Amazon as a sample cloud computing provider that will be responsible for keeping the audio recordings of your voice data, suggesting that Alexa integration is in the final stages of work. With Spence’s confirmation earlier this year about the coming of Alexa voice controls to Sonos-made smart speakers and with the latest update to its privacy statement, it is increasingly becoming clear that Sonos customers will soon be able to command their smart speakers to play music or book hotel rooms for them, among other tasks that you can ask Alexa to perform.

Spence also revealed earlier this year that Sonos has plans to expand the list of digital assistants that will be used to control its smart speakers in the future, including Google Home and Google Assistant as a part of a broader effort to support as many devices as possible. It remains unclear whether Sonos aims to produce new smart speakers with built-in microphones for voice command input or ship the devices with an accompanying mic, though an update on the company’s Alexa effort should follow shortly.