Virtual assistant

Sonos appears to be working on its own virtual assistant

A virtual assistant from Sonos may be on the way, allowing users to interact with their speakers by voice without having to use something like Alexa. A customer survey sent to owners of Sonos speakers (discovered by The edge), asks users to indicate their level of interest in a potential new product.

This potential new product is a Sonos virtual assistant that would provide hands-free interaction without compromising privacy. After reading through a series of potential features, users were asked to rate their level of interest.

The new tool is apparently called Sonos Voice Control. And it’s described as a “fast, easy and private control designed for Sonos by Sonos”.

The Sonos virtual assistant would check the voice directly on the speaker

Everything here seems to revolve around user privacy. Voice command recognition is done directly on the speaker, instead of going through the cloud.

This would give users more privacy and peace of mind. As none of the audio files 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 probably not there.

In this scenario, Sonos Voice Control would be used for things like playing tracks, skipping songs, and adjusting volume. While interacting with Alexa would be used for anything she can already do. Like turning on the lights or asking 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 recorded content.

It’s fast and it works everywhere

As well as being more private, the survey says Sonos also designed the Assistant to be quick to use. Calling it “smooth and fast”, all commands are processed locally. Which states Sonos allows it to provide faster responses to the user issuing these commands.

All users would have to do is say the wake word “Hey Sonos” to get things started. And users could follow up with an order. The assistant could also potentially work anywhere. As long as users are on the Sonos Roam or Sonos Move speaker in Bluetooth mode.

While this isn’t confirmation that Sonos is planning to release its own virtual assistant, it does at the very least show that the company is clearly investigating the possibility.