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‘Hey Sonos’ could be next voice assistant to hit smart speakers

Sonos offers some of the best smart speakers out there, with support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, but now it seems the multi-room specialist is working on its own voice controls.

The company has emailed some fans to gauge opinions on a potential rival to Alexa, Siri and the Google Assistant that would sit on Sonos devices.

The contents of the email was posted to Reddit this week, with Sonos outlining a “potential new product offering” for the Sonos Voice Control functionality, which would arrive with a “Hey Sonos” wake word.

It would offer hands-free playback control, local processing for faster responses and the ability to request your favourites. The screenshot posted by user EdmundFitzgerald also says the assistant will offer privacy without compromise and, significantly, work alongside Alexa.

“Just ask Sonos to play a song, then ask Alexa to check the weather,” the company purportedly wrote in the email.

The question begs, why would Sonos users need a separate assistant to provide any of this functionality when Alexa is already capable of doing everything listed? Well, all processing on-device would surely be a bonus for the privacy conscious. Sonos also says playback control works when users of the portable Move and Sonos Roam speakers are away from a web connection, thanks to Bluetooth connectivity.

It’s not clear whether Sonos will eventually roll this out, but the email informed Sonos users it would be: “Quick, easy, and private control designed for Sonos by Sonos. Available on select Sonos voice capable speakers.”

In comments made to the press (via TechHive), Sonos said: “We regularly put product and experience concepts in front of our customers to better understand what is important to them. We don’t have anything further to share at this time.”

Trusted Reviews has contacted Sonos seeking further comments on the matter.

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