Merchant Innovation

Sonos Is Reportedly Rolling Out Its Own Voice Activated Speaker

Sonos, the technology and speaker company, is reportedly preparing to roll out a new voice-controlled speaker.

According to a report citing a filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the speaker may compete with the likes of the Amazon Echo, the Google Home and the impending Apple HomePod. Other players in the smart speaker market include Microsoft, which has teamed with Harmon and Alibaba, the Chinese eCommerce giant.

The report speculated that with the speaker, consumers could, for the first time on a Sonos device, use voice commands to play music, read sports scores or have the device alert them to traffic and weather, among other commands. Earlier rumors had Sonos coming out with a speaker that integrated with Alexa, the voice-activated personal digital assistant owned by Amazon, noted CNBC.  The company is known for churning out high-end, pricey speakers.

Sonos’ new chief executive officer Patrick Spence, who stepped into the role of CEO in January, announced then that he was 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, though, Spence said Sonos will aim to collaborate across the industry, similar 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 CEO added.

The company already had plans in the works to integrate with Amazon Alexa, with the expectation that other voice-activated services will follow suit. With the latest FCC filing, though, it appears Sonos is opting to go it alone instead.

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