There are two big Alexa announcements this week. First up: It is now officially the first voice assistant to be available on Sonos, turning the wireless speaker product into a voice-controlled sound system.
According to news from TechCrunch, Sonos has been working “day and night” with Amazon for a year to implement the features. Alexa on Sonos is now available as a beta software update, allowing users to control their speakers using Amazon Alexa-compatible devices, including the Echo and the Dot. The update will be available in the U.S., U.K. and Germany.
Sonos now supports 80 music services, first working with Spotify and now Alexa. Sonos is also partnering with home CE providers like Crestron, Logitech and SmartThings to add interaction elements to the experience. And in 2018, the company plans to open the Sonos API to developers, announcing a “Works With Sonos” badge to allow outside vendors to connect with the in-home devices.
The second bit of Alexa news concerns Nissan, which announced that a number of its vehicles from 2016, 2017 and 2018 equipped with the NissanConnect service will also work with a new Alexa skill to perform functions such as starting the car, unlocking and locking the car, and turning the lights or horn on.
The Verge reported that the system needed to connect to Alexa is found in certain versions of vehicles, including the Altima, Maxima, Pathfinder, Rogue, Sentra, Titan and the 2017 GT-R sports car. The 2018 Leaf will also gain Alexa compatibility shortly after reaching U.S. dealerships early next year, followed by other models that will eventually adopt the latest version of NissanConnect.
Nissan is the latest automaker to integrate Alexa. Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen have announced similar plans to add Alexa’s services to new vehicles, and BMW announced last week it would integrate Alexa through a built-in microphone in many BMW and Mini vehicles for 2018 in the U.S., Germany and U.K.