Sonos confirms that its Voice Control service will launch on June 1

Sonos confirms that its Voice Control service will launch on June 1

Sonos will roll out its voice-controlled assistant on June 1 in the United States. Like the edge Earlier this month, Sonos Voice Control would be added to all of the company’s supported smart speakers with an upcoming software update. Once it’s there, owners of these devices will be able to start playing music, skip tracks, adjust the volume, and send sound to other Sonos speakers in their homes using “Hey Sonos” voice commands. Sonos Voice will expand to France later in 2022, but the company has not announced plans to deploy outside of those first two countries.

Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora, Deezer, and Sonos Radio are the supported services at launch. Some will be disappointed by the lack of Spotify, but during a recent press conference Sonos explained that the assistant can still perform basic commands like pause, pause, track controls, volume, etc. for Spotify content already playing on the Sonos system, although Customers will not be able to request a song or playlist from Spotify using Sonos Voice Control.

Sonos tapped a celebrity to become the voice of the Sonos Voice Control. Giancarlo Esposito, known for his roles in Bad break, better call Saul, And mandalorian, He gave his distinctive voice to the service. The actor went through a lengthy recording session to give Sonos’ machine learning system enough samples to work with.

You will hear the voice of actor Giancarlo Esposito when interacting with the Sonos Voice Control.
Photo: Sonos

Sonos Voice Control focuses strictly on music and is not intended to challenge Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple’s Siri as a full digital assistant. The company says customers will be able to use Sonos Voice and Alexa simultaneously on the same device, sticking with the latter for smart home control, weather inquiries, calendar appointments, and general questions that Sonos isn’t meant to deal with. The Google Assistant cannot be used in conjunction with Sonos Voice Control.

Sonos Voice Control can quickly move music from one room to another.
Photo: Sonos

Aside from basic music commands, Sonos Voice Control can also be used to group speakers and rooms – you can tell it to play something “everywhere” to activate all the speakers – or move audio from one device to another in seconds. Sonos designed the service to be as fast as possible; The company says it’s limiting “responses and bells” in favor of quickly executing voice commands.

Sonos Voice Control was developed to understand everyday language rather than requiring specific phrasing. (For example, you can say “Hey Sonos, turn up the volume” instead of “Turn up the volume.”) As long as they are connected to each other, you can follow one voice command with the other without having to say “Hey Sonos” each time. For portable Sonos products like the Move and Roam, you can also check the battery life.

Sonos seems confident in the performance of the Sonos Voice Control. The company says you can get very precise commands with commands like “Stop playing in the kitchen and play in the living room instead” or “Just turn the volume up in the bedroom.” These Sonos examples show a rationale for the company to create its own voice solution rather than using the resources to make these things work through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant skills.

The service is rooted in technology that Sonos picked up when it acquired Snips, a privacy-oriented voice assistant, back in 2019. After buying the company, the Sonos team continued to develop the service ahead of today’s introduction. All Sonos Voice Control commands are processed locally on the device and are not sent to Sonos servers in the cloud.

Jo Dureau of Sonos, vice president of audio experience, and Alice Cook, head of machine learning research at the company.
Photo by Chris Welch/The Verge

Sonos says that a good number of consumers refrain from setting up or using the voice assistant on their smart speakers for privacy reasons, and he thinks Sonos Voice Control may overcome that reluctance. If it meets the company’s performance claims, it can certainly become a convenient new feature. Sonos Voice Control is free, which is not surprising given its limited scope.

2022-05-11 20:05:00

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