A virtual assistant from Sonos may be on the way, letting users interact with their speakers by voice without having to use something like Alexa. A customer survey being sent out to Sonos speaker owners (discovered by The Verge), asks users to indicate their interest level in a potential new product.
That potential new product is a Sonos virtual assistant that would provide hands-free interaction without compromising privacy. After having read through a series of potential features, users were asked to rate their interest level.
The new tool is apparently called Sonos Voice Control. And it’s described as a “quick, easy, and private control designed for Sonos by Sonos.”
The Sonos virtual assistant would verify voice directly on the speaker
The whole thing here seems to revolve around user privacy. Voice control recognition happens directly on the speaker, as opposed to going through the cloud.
This would give users more privacy and peace of mind. As none of the audio would be uploaded to the cloud and then transcribed and stored. The survey also mentions that the Sonos Voice Control could coexist alongside Alexa. But the two would never interact. Google Assistant compatibility isn’t mentioned at all, so it’s likely not there.
In this scenario, Sonos Voice Control would be used for things like playing tracks, skipping songs, and adjusting volume. While interaction with Alexa would be used for anything else that it can already do. Like turning on the lights or asking about the weather.
The virtual assistant can even help you find something to listen to based on a wide range of filters. Including songs, albums, artists, playlists, radio stations, and saved content.
It’s quick, and it works anywhere
In addition to being more private, the survey says that Sonos has also designed the assistant to be quick to use. Calling it “smooth and snappy,” any commands are processed locally. Which Sonos states allows or it to deliver faster responses to the user issuing those commands.
All users would have to do is utter the “Hey Sonos” wake word to start things up. And users could follow up with a command. The assistant could also potentially work anywhere. So long as users are on the Sonos Roam or Sonos Move speaker while in Bluetooth mode.
While this isn’t a confirmation that Sonos plans to release its own virtual assistant, at the very least it shows that the company is clearly looking into the possibility.