Sonos Wi-Fi Speakers To Integrate With Voice-Activated Assistants

Sonos Speakers Integration

With a new CEO in tow, wireless speakers company Sonos is looking to integrate with the rising wave of digital assistants.

Patrick Spence, who stepped into the role of CEO earlier this month, is on a mission to help Sonos keep pace with the growing disruption coming to the home speakers landscape through devices like Amazon’s Echo and Google Home, The Verge reported.

“We know that life at home requires the support of a variety of services,” Spence wrote in a memo to the company, according to a redacted copy obtained by The Verge.

Rather than partner with a single company, Spence said Sonos will aim to collaborate across the industry similarly to what it’s done with music streaming apps: “We are going to do the same with voice services, bringing all the services that matter to every home.”

The company already has plans in the works to integrate with Amazon Alexa, with the expectation that other voice-activated services will follow suit.

Spence noted that Sonos will look to both partner and compete with global tech giants, like Amazon, Google and possibly Apple.

“With the full arrival of streaming, the advent of voice and the promise of the connected home, we are at a pivotal and defining moment — this is our time. The next few years will define our future as we step into the big leagues — partnering and competing with global leaders like Amazon, Google and (likely) Apple. It requires new thinking and a different pace than we had in our first 15 years,” Spence said in note.

New research from Gartner Consulting projects big things for the voice-activated space as part of a larger growth trend across all “supplementary connected devices.”

Analysis from Gartner projects flat growth for worldwide device shipments. The firm predicts that combined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones will total 2.3 billion in 2017, the same as 2016 estimates. Both the PC and the computing devices markets could actually drop a bit in 2017, according to Gartner’s estimates, with mobile growth in emerging markets picking up the slack. Gartner doesn’t project any growth in traditional computing devices expected until 2018.

Gartner Consulting Research Director Ranjit Atwal was quoted as saying: “We’ve done the market growth part in terms of those core devices. Now, it’s a case of what other more dedicated devices do we build around that? And the ecosystem to enhance those capabilities across the board.”